Flexible and squeezy soft sensors that can be squeezed in hands or fitted around physique parts might be utilized for applications like recovery following stroke or injury and sports. For example, soft electrical force sensors that seem like a squeeze ball can track the recovery of sufferers affected by neurological disorders or hand injuries.
Although such types of sensors were being developed for a long time, none of the devices had hit the market. It is because the sensors cannot be effortlessly incorporated into electronic components—for example, batteries, laptop chips, and wires are required to collect, process, and transmit the data aggregated by the sensor.
A research group from Imperial College London has now developed a novel method utilizing which the squeezy and stretchy force-delicate soft materials could be bonded to electrical parts. The scientists have created a sufficiently robust bond that permits the flexible rubber to break itself before the bond existing between the two different materials does.
Earlier, researchers had tried to stick the conductive, force-sensitive rubbers with electrical parts utilizing metal clamps, which may probably tear the flexible material, or using adhesives, which often came apart upon pulling.
In contrast, the newest technique makes use of tiny pieces of metal-coated silicon that produce a chemical bond with the squeezy and stretchy rubber. One side of the silicon contacts is clean and adheres to the rubber, while the opposite side is pitted and covered with copper; therefore, electric parts, along with wires, could be easily connected through traditional techniques like soldering.
The researchers confirmed how the new bonding technique is in a position to resist the pressures of stretching. Also, they applied the tactic to certain prototype sensors that may be utilized in recovery and healthcare.