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Prof. Xiaoming Tao writes commentary in Nature Electronics

Prof. Xiaoming Tao, Chair Professor of ITC, was invited by the chief editor of Nature Electronics to write a commentary/view article on a recently published paper written by Prof. Fabrien Sorin and his group at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.  Nature Electronics is a top-tier journal that is ranked no. 3 on the Scimago Journal & Country Rank.

The paper is titled “Liquid metal gives transmission lines a softer touch”, which discusses how fibre with a liquid-metal core and soft outer shell can be woven into textiles. The fibres can be used to simultaneously sense multiple compression and stretching events.  The ability to obtain information on the spatial and temporal distributions of mechanical stimuli, including compression, tensile, torsional and bending stresses, is important in the development of applications related to health monitoring, human–machine interactions and soft robotics. One-dimensional sensor probes based on fibres or cables are desirable for such purposes because they can be easily integrated into large-area textile fabrics. If a single fibre is capable of detecting multimodal deformations — with information on deformation mode, amplitude, time and location — then only one or two output ports at the fibre ends are required. In such a case, complex addressing circuits are not necessary, since they can be difficult to place in flexible fibrous structures like textile fabrics. Such fibres can also be potentially made in kilometre lengths and thus used in very large area sensing applications, for example, in bridges or on railway tracks.  For details of the paper, please click here.