Wearable Capacitive Tactile Sensor Based on Porous Dielectric Composite of Polyurethane and Silver Nanowire

Gen Wen Hsieh*, Chih Yang Chien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In recent years, the implementation of wearable and biocompatible tactile sensing elements with sufficient response into healthcare, medical detection, and electronic skin/amputee prosthetics has been an intriguing but challenging quest. Here, we propose a flexible all-polyurethane capacitive tactile sensor that utilizes a salt crystal-templated porous elastomeric framework filling with silver nanowire as the composite dielectric material, sandwiched by a set of polyurethane films covering silver nanowire networks as electrodes. With the aids of these cubic air pores and conducting nanowires, the fabricated capacitive tactile sensor provides pronounced enhancement of both sensor compressibility and effective relative dielectric permittivity across a broad pressure regime (from a few Pa to tens of thousands of Pa). The fabricated silver nanowire–porous polyurethane sensor presents a sensitivity improvement of up to 4−60 times as compared to a flat polyurethane device. An ultrasmall external stimulus as light as 3 mg, equivalent to an applied pressure of ∼0.3 Pa, can also be clearly recognized. Our all-polyurethane capacitive tactile sensor based on a porous dielectric framework hybrid with conducting nanowire reveals versatile potential applications in physiological activity detection, arterial pulse monitoring, and spatial pressure distribution, paving the way for wearable electronics and artificial skin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3816
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • capacitive tactile sensor
  • dielectric composite
  • porous polyurethane
  • silver nanowire
  • wearable electronic


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