Self-Powered, Rapid-Response, and Highly Flexible Humidity Sensors Based on Moisture-Dependent Voltage Generation
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Most advanced humidity sensors are powered by batteries that need regular charging and replacement, causing environmental problems and complicated management issues. This paradigm has been overcome through the development of new technology based on the concept of simple, self-powered, rapid-response, flexible humidity sensors enabled by the properties of densely packed titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanowire networks. These sensors eliminate the need for an external power source and produce an output voltage that can be readily related to ambient humidity level over a wide range of ambient conditions. They are characterized by rapid response and relaxation times (typically 4.5 and 2.8 s, respectively). These units are mechanically flexible and maintain a constant voltage output after 10 000 bending cycles. This new type of humidity sensor is easily attached to a human finger for use in the monitoring of ambient humidity level in the environment around human skin, near wet objects, or in the presence of moist materials. The unique properties of this new self-powered wearable humidity sensor technology open up a variety of new applications, including the development of electronic skin, personal healthcare products, and smart tracking in the future Internet-of-things.
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