A new sensor has been developed by researchers at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linkoping University. This sensor is an example of inspiration from the natural skin’s behavior.
The sensor would be well-suited for use with electronic skin. The best part of the sensor is its resemblance to the human body. It could measure the variations in body temperature, which is basically originated from the touch of a warm object, as well as the heat from solar radiation.
“We have been inspired by nature and its methods of sensing heat and radiation,” says Mina Shiran Chaharsoughi, a doctoral student in the Organic Photonics and Nano-optics group at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics.
“We wanted to enjoy the best of both worlds, so we combined a pyroelectric polymer with a thermoelectric gel developed in a previous project by Dan Zhao, Simone Fabiano and other colleagues at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics. The combination gives a rapid and strong signal that lasts as long as the stimulus is present,” says Magnus Jonsson, leader of the Organic Photonics and Nano-optics group.
Furthermore, it turned out that the two materials interact in a way that reinforces the signal. The new sensor also uses another nano-optical entity known as plasmons.
“Plasmons arise when light interacts with nanoparticles of metals such as gold and silver. The incident light causes the electrons in the particles to oscillate in unison, which forms the plasmon. This phenomenon provides the nanostructures with extraordinary optical properties, such as high scattering and high absorption,” Magnus Jonsson explains.