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Engineers Fabricate a Chip-Free, Wireless Electronic 'Skin'

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flexible device senses and wirelessly transmits signals without chips or batteries, illustration

The researchers see their results as a first step toward chip-free wireless sensors.

Credit: MIT News

MIT engineers have devised a new kind of wearable sensor that communicates wirelessly without requiring onboard chips or batteries. Their design, detailed in the journal Science, opens a path toward chip-free wireless sensors.

The team devised a semiconductor film that can be used for chip-less, flexible e-skins. The material is flexible and breathable, thus providing better comfort for wearers of sensors. The devices convert electrical energy into surface acoustic waves using a piezoelectric resonator. The researchers found they could use the material simultaneously for both sensing and wireless communication.

"Our device could make a system very light without having any chips that are power-hungry," says Professor Jeehwan Kim. "You could put it on your body like a bandage, and paired with a wireless reader on your cellphone, you could wirelessly monitor your pulse, sweat, and other biological signals."

From MIT News
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