Scientific Breakthroughs

Scientists Create Graphene Elastomer That Is More Sensitive Than the Human Skin

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Scientists Develops Graphene Elastomer With Higher Sensitivity Than Human Skin
PHOTOGRAPH: Scientists Develops Graphene Elastomer With Higher Sensitivity Than Human Skin |

Graphene elastomer is a new type of material recently developed by researchers. This soft sponge-like substance is expected to be used for robots tasked with taking care of the elderly people.

The research published in the journal Advanced Materials was conducted by scientists from the Monash University. They discovered the new material that is said to have more sensitivity than the human skin.

The duo behind the discovery consists of Professor Dan Li and Dr. Ling Qiu. They are from the Monash Center for Atomically Thin Materials (MCATN).

Innovative Material Exceeds Human Skin Sensitivity

The elastomer is either a natural or synthetic polymer that has elastic properties. One example is rubber. Meanwhile, graphene, to be described simply, is a thin layer of pure carbon.

Together they make a revolutionary material that is hypersensitive to vibrations and pressure like our skin. When compared to foam or rubber, the G-elastomer is characterized to be more soft and elastic.

Dr. Qiu described the graphene elastomer as a “flexible, ultra-light weight” material. Same with our skin, it can distinguish when pressure or vibration is applied.

However, it is aforementioned to have a wider response range than our skin. Its response time, as stated, is also faster than the regular polymer elastomer.

Pioneer For Prospects

Our skin has pressure sensors that respond to a stimulus. According to Dr. Qiu, they are responsible for lettings us “hold a cup without dropping it, crushing it, or spilling the contents.”

They envision that with the innovation of the G-elastomer, the future era of bendable electronic devices can be explored. But now, it is wrapping a robot or a prosthetic’s hand that is being tapped by the researchers especially considering the material’s “sensitivity and response time.”

The graphene elastomer might be in its early stages of development yet but its potential is surely remarkable. Many types of applications can be explored aside from revolutionizing a machine’s hands.


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