Mechanoreceptor-Inspired Dynamic Mechanical Stimuli Perception based on Switchable Ionic Polarization

Hong Joon Yoon, Dong Min Lee, Young Jun Kim, Sera Jeon, Jae Hwan Jung, Sung Soo Kwak, Jihye Kim, Seong Min Kim, Yunseok Kim, Sang Woo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Diverse touch experiences offer a path toward greater human–machine interaction, which is essential for the development of haptic technology. Recent advances in triboelectricity-based touch sensors provide great advantages in terms of cost, simplicity of design, and use of a broader range of materials. Since performance solely relies on the level of contact electrification between materials, triboelectricity-based touch sensors cannot effectively be used to measure the extent of deformation of materials under a given mechanical force. Here, an ion-doped gelatin hydrogel (IGH)-based touch sensor is reported to identify not only contact with an object but also deformation under a certain level of force. Switchable ionic polarization of the gelatin hydrogel is found to be instrumental in allowing for different sensing mechanisms when it is contacted and deformed. The results show that ionic polarization relies on conductivity of the hydrogels. Quantitative studies using voltage sweeps demonstrate that higher ion mobility and shorter Debye length serve to improve the performance of the mechanical stimuli-perceptible sensor. It is successfully demonstrated that this sensor offers dynamic deformation-responsive signals that can be used to control the motion of a miniature car. This study broadens the potential applications for ionic hydrogel-based sensors in a human–machine communication system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100649
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 2

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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