SCIENTIA SINICA Informationis, Volume 48 , Issue 6 : 635-649(2018) https://doi.org/10.1360/N112018-00096

The application of functional oxide thin films in flexible sensor devices

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  • ReceivedApr 19, 2018
  • AcceptedApr 27, 2018
  • PublishedJun 6, 2018


With promising applications in healthcare and human-machine interaction, flexible sensor devices have drawn much attention and have been intensively studied in recent years. Meanwhile, functional oxide thin films, as one key family of inorganic functional materials, have been widely used in the electronic and optoelectronic devices because of their rich electronic, optical, thermal, and mechanical properties. Their application in flexible sensor devices is expected to pave the way for high-performance devices and the design of novel devices. In this review, the key scientific and technical issues that need to be solved to promote the application of functional oxide thin films in flexible sensor devices are summarized and recent research progress in this field is discussed.

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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) The process of transfer printing

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) PZT devices in wavy configurations on PDMS substrates. (a) Schematic illustration of the fabrication process; (b) optical images of a pair of wavy PZT nanoribbons with electrodes on PDMS; (c) PFM hysteresis loops of a wavy PZT ribbon on PDMS and a PZT film on Si, respectively [50]@Copyright 2011 ACS

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) Device with PZT thin film on PDMS substrates. (a) Exploded-view schematic illustration of the device; (b) optical images of the as-fabricated device; (c) the photograph of the device cointegrated with a microbattery and rectifier, mounted on the bovine lung; (d) the schematic of the five-layer stacked device [51]@Copyright 2014 PNAS

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) Flexible breath sensor with VO$_{2}$ thin film. (a) Schematic illustration of the fabrication process; (b) optical images of the as-fabricated device; (c) resistance changes at different environment temperatures (upper panel) and different air flow (lower panel) [62]@Copyright 2017 IOP

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) Flexible temperature-mechanical dual-parameter sensor with VO$_{2}$ thin film. (a) The schematic illustration of the change of electrical conductance with nano-cracks in the VO$_{2}$ thin film when applying strain on the $x$-axis and $y$-axis; (b) exploded-view schematic illustration and optical images of the device; (c) the measured and fitting result of the electrical resistance response to the strain; (d) the recorded resistance variations during 10000 cycles of bending-releasing at a frequency of 5 Hz with the maximum bending strain of 0.1% [63]@Copyright 2017 IEEE

  • Figure 6

    The signal processing of flexible temperature-mechanical dual-parameter sensor with VO$_{2}$ thin film. (a) The frequency spectrum of the recorded signal of the device after fast Fourier transformation; (b) the frequency spectrum corresponding to the body temperature signal; (c) the body temperature signal and pulse signal obtained by signal processing

  • Figure 7

    (Color online) Flexible photodetector based on ITO/Si heterojunction. (a) Schematic illustration of the fabrication process; (b) schematic released degeneracy of the Si conduction band under elastic uniaxial strain and the conduction band split of silicon; (c) the barrier height of the bent ITO/Si heterojunction versus its bending radius. The spherical represent theoretical barrier height. The red and green crosses represent the experimental barrier height calculated from the I-V curves and IPCE curves, respectively; (d) the response and recovery time of the flat photodetector and the one with a bending radius of 3 cm [65]@Copyright 2018 Royal Society of Chemistry

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