Chemically Designed Metallic/Insulating Hybrid Nanostructures with Silver Nanocrystals for Highly Sensitive Wearable Pressure Sensors

Haneun Kim, Seung Wook Lee, Hyungmok Joh, Mingi Seong, Woo Seok Lee, Min Su Kang, Jun Beom Pyo, Soong Ju Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


With the increase in interest in wearable tactile pressure sensors for e-skin, researches to make nanostructures to achieve high sensitivity have been actively conducted. However, limitations such as complex fabrication processes using expensive equipment still exist. Herein, simple lithography-free techniques to develop pyramid-like metal/insulator hybrid nanostructures utilizing nanocrystals (NCs) are demonstrated. Ligand-exchanged and unexchanged silver NC thin films are used as metallic and insulating components, respectively. The interfaces of each NC layer are chemically engineered to create discontinuous insulating layers, i.e., spacers for improved sensitivity, and eventually to realize fully solution-processed pressure sensors. Device performance analysis with structural, chemical, and electronic characterization and conductive atomic force microscopy study reveals that hybrid nanostructure based pressure sensor shows an enhanced sensitivity of higher than 500 kPa-1, reliability, and low power consumption with a wide range of pressure sensing. Nano-/micro-hierarchical structures are also designed by combining hybrid nanostructures with conventional microstructures, exhibiting further enhanced sensing range and achieving a record sensitivity of 2.72 × 104 kPa-1. Finally, all-solution-processed pressure sensor arrays with high pixel density, capable of detecting delicate signals with high spatial selectivity much better than the human tactile threshold, are introduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-1398
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 10

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (2016R1C1B2006534).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


  • hybrid nanostructures
  • interface engineering
  • nanocrystals
  • solution processes
  • wearable pressure sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemically Designed Metallic/Insulating Hybrid Nanostructures with Silver Nanocrystals for Highly Sensitive Wearable Pressure Sensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this