Energy‐autonomous, flexible, and transparent tactile skin

Carlos García Núñez, William Taube Navaraj, Emre O. Polat, Ravinder Dahiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Citations (Scopus)


Tactile or electronic skin is needed to provide critical haptic perception to robots and amputees, as well as in wearable electronics for health monitoring and wellness applications. Energy autonomy of skin is a critical feature that would enable better portability and longer operation times. This study shows a novel structure, consisting of a transparent tactile sensitive layer based on single‐layer graphene, and a photovoltaic cell underneath as a building block for energy‐autonomous, flexible, and tactile skin. Transparency of the touch sensitive layer is considered a key feature to allow the photovoltaic cell to effectively harvest light. Moreover, ultralow power consumed by the sensitive layer (20 nW cm−2) further reduces the photovoltaic area required to drive the tactile skin. In addition to its energy autonomy, the fabricated skin is sensitive to touch, mainly because a transparent polymeric protective layer, spin‐coated on the sensor's active area, makes the coplanar capacitor sensitive to touch, detecting minimum pressures of 0.11 kPa with a uniform sensitivity of 4.3 Pa−1 along a broad pressure range. Finally, the tactile skin patches are integrated on a prosthetic hand, and the responses of the sensors for static and dynamic stimuli are evaluated by performing tasks, ranging from simple touching to grabbing of soft objects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1606287
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • electronic skin
  • graphene
  • touch sensors
  • flexible electronics
  • transparent electronics
  • solar cells
  • energy autonomous systems
  • roll-printing


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  • Energy autonomous electronic skin

    García Núñez, C., Manjakkal, L. & Dahiya, R., 4 Jan 2019, In: NPJ Flexible Electronics. 3, 1, 24 p., 1.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Open Access
    180 Citations (Scopus)
    196 Downloads (Pure)
  • Energy autonomous eSkin

    Manjakkal, L., García Núñez, C. & Dahiya, R., 9 Apr 2019, SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing: 2019, Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications XI. Baltimore: Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, Vol. 10982. 109821K. (Proceedings of SPIE; vol. 10982).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

    Open Access
    198 Downloads (Pure)
  • Energy autonomous eSkin

    Manjakkal, L., Nunez, C. G. & Dahiya, R., 9 Apr 2019.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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