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Research Article

Stretchable on-skin touchless screen sensor enabled by ionic hydrogel

Tianxing Feng1,§Dan Ling1,§Chaoyue Li1,§Wentao Zheng1Shichuan Zhang1Chang Li1Artem Emel’yanov2Alexander S. Pozdnyakov2Lijun Lu1( )Yanchao Mao1( )
Key Laboratory of Materials Physics of Ministry of Education, School of Physics and Microelectronics, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
A.E. Favorsky Irkutsk Institute of Chemistry, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk 664033, Russian Federation

§ Tianxing Feng, Dan Ling, and Chaoyue Li contributed equally to this work.

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Graphical Abstract

A stretchable on-skin touchless screen sensor (OTSS) was demonstrated through an ionic hydrogel-based triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). We further developed an on-skin noncontact screen operating system, which could unlock a cellphone interface in touchless operation mode on the human skin. This OTSS could provide a direction to develop new-generation screen sensors for future cellphones and personal electronics.

Abstract

Screen sensors are the most commonly used human-machine interfaces in our everyday life, which have been extensively applied in personal electronics like cellphones. Touchless screen sensors are attracting growing interest due to their distinct advantages of high interaction freedom, comfortability, and hand hygiene. However, the material compositions of current touchless screen sensors are rigid and fragile, hardly meeting the needs of wearable and stretchable on-skin electronics development. Additionally, these touchless screen sensors are also restricted by high power consumption, limited gesture types of recognition, and the requirement of light conditions. Here, we report a stretchable on-skin touchless screen sensor (OTSS) enabled by an ionic hydrogel-based triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). Compared with current touchless screen sensors, the OTSS is stretchable, self-powered, and competent to recognize diverse gestures by making use of charges naturally carried on fingers without the need of sufficient light conditions. An on-skin noncontact screen operating system is further demonstrated on the basis of the OTSS, which could unlock a cellphone interface in touchless operation mode on the human skin. This work for the first time introduces the on-skin touchless concept to screen sensors and offers a direction to develop new-generation screen sensors for future cellphones and personal electronics.

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Nano Research
Pages 4462-4470
Cite this article:
Feng T, Ling D, Li C, et al. Stretchable on-skin touchless screen sensor enabled by ionic hydrogel. Nano Research, 2024, 17(5): 4462-4470. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-023-6365-8
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Received: 18 October 2023
Revised: 15 November 2023
Accepted: 26 November 2023
Published: 29 December 2023
© Tsinghua University Press 2023
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