Special Issue "Smart Materials for Soft Sensors and Actuators"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 27 August 2018
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Porfiri
Soft active materials are emerging as a promising technology for sensing and actuation. These materials display physical coupling in two or more domains, such as electrostatics and mechanics in piezoelectrics, while offering the important benefit of flexibility. These propitious features constitute an empowering tool of for new applications in science and engineering, such as wearable devices, artificial skin, artificial muscles, biomimetic robots, and soft robots.
In this Special Issue, we are interested in smart materials for state of the art applications in soft sensors and actuators. We hope that this special issue will be a seed for the new ambitious insight into the science and engineering of smart materials. Exemplary material systems include electroactive polymers, ferroelectrics, ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs), photovoltaics, piezoelectrics, shape memory alloys (SMAs), and thermoelectrics.
We invite your original research articles about recent technological advancements in smart materials for flexible sensors and actuators. Our scope includes experimental, theoretical, and computational approaches.
Dr. Youngsu Cha
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Porfiri
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- smart materials
- soft active materials
- multifunctional materials
- electromechanical coupling
- flexible sensors
- flexible actuators
- wearable devices
- artificial muscles
- artificial skin
- soft robotics
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Corrugated P3HT-based Thin Films for Highly Flexible Strain Sensor
Authors: Donghyeon Ryu and Geronimo Macias
Affiliation: Mechanical Engineering, New Mexico Tech
Abstract: Conjugated poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) showed promising self-sensing performance to measure tensile strain without electrical input. The P3HT, as a p-type semiconductor, forms p-n bulk heterojunction with an n-type semiconducting polymer, to exhibit radiant-electrical energy conversion and generate direct current (DC) under light. It was shown that the generated DC varied in tandem with applied tensile strain due to P3HT’s unique mechano-optoelectronic (MO) property. Nevertheless, the strain sensor fabricated using the MO P3HT-based thin films are prone to excessive deformation to result in cracks of the MO P3HT-based thin films as well as a transparent polymeric thin film bottom electrode. This study aims to devise highly flexible strain sensor by improving mechanical resiliency of the functional thin film components. First, the corrugated functional layers (i.e., P3HT-based self-sensing thin films and polymeric thin film bottom electrode) are designed and formed in the fabricated strain sensor through buckling of the thin films induced during fabrication procedure. Second, to characterize the MO property of the corrugated P3HT-based thin film, light absorption of the thin films is interrogated at various tensile strains. Also, the design of the bottom electrode is optimized through characterization of light transmittance and sheet resistance at various strains. Last, sensing performance of the strain sensor fabricated with the corrugated P3HT-based thin films is validated.
Keywords: P3HT; corrugated thin films; strain sensor; mechano-optoelectronic; self-sensing thin films; UV-Vis
Title: Noninvasive mechano-chemical imaging in Caenorhabditis elegans
Authors: Takuma Sugi 1,2, Ryuji Igarashi 2,3, Masaki Nishimura 1
Affiliation: 1 Molecular Neuroscience Research Center, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, Shiga 520-2192, Japan
2 PRESTO, Japanese Science and Technology Agency, 4-1-8 Honcho, Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan
3 Department of Molecular Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8510, Japan
Abstract: Mechanical forces are transduced into chemical responses, thereby ultimately making large impact on a whole-animal level phenotypes such as homeostasis, development and behavior. To understand mechano-chemical transduction, mechanical input should be quantitatively delivered with controllable vibration properties–frequency, amplitude and duration, and its chemical output should be noninvasively quantified in vivo. However, such a quantitative and noninvasive experimental system has not been established so far. Here, we develop a noninvasive mechano-chemical imaging microscopy. This microscopy enables us to evoke nano-scale nonlocalized vibrations with controllable vibration properties using piezoelectric system and quantify calcium response of a freely moving C. elegans at a single cell resolution. Using this microscopy, we clearly detected the calcium response of a single interneuron during C. elegans escape response to nano-scale vibration. Thus, this microscopy will facilitate understanding in vivo mechano-chemical physiology in the future.