Photo of Bowen Zhu

Nanotechnology & materials

Bowen Zhu

Active-matrix tactile sensor array based on thin-film transistors.

Year Honored

Westlake University

Asia Pacific

Hails From
Asia Pacific

Electronic skin is one of the important applications of flexible electronics in the biomedical field. The skin is the largest organ of the human body. Its soft texture allows humans to sense pressure, pain, strain, temperature, and other stimuli to identify the surrounding environment and carry out daily activities. The excellent material properties and powerful sensing functions of human skin have inspired the development of skin-like electronics to emulate the performance and functions of human skin, which is of great significance for the application of health monitoring, intelligent prosthetics, bionic robots and other technologies.

Bowen Zhu is focused on developing flexible sensors that could mimic the skin’s properties and functions.

He developed patternable, high-performance intrinsically stretchable flexible electronic materials based on vertically aligned gold nanowire arrays, which solved the long-standing problem of weak interface bonding between conductive materials and substrates. It provides excellent electrode materials for soft electronic devices.

He also focuses on leveraging engineering solutions to build active-matrix tactile sensor arrays. He achieved monolithic integration of a large-area, high-density tactile sensor array by integrating sensor pixels with thin-film transistors and achieved ease control by addressing of arbitrary pixels. This solves the issues suffered by conventional flexible tactile sensors of low sensitivity, slow response, and low spatial resolution.

In addition, by integrating a tactile sensor with an artificial neuron device, he constructed an artificial mechanoreceptor that can encode external pressure stimulation signals into electrical spikes, providing an effective way to develop neuromorphic tactile sensors and process complex tactile information for future advancements in artificial sense of touch.