Physicists from Austria and the U.S. have built ultra-thin pressure sensors which can be woven into sensitive textiles. In “Haute couture from the experimental physics lab,” they say that their new thin-film transistors (TFTs) can switch back and forth in reaction to pressure. To achieve this effect, they coupled TFTs with ferroelectrets, which are thin films of polymer foams. After demonstrating pressure sensors for replacement skin or ultra-thin microphones, they are now ready for interactive clothing. For example, these sensitive textiles could be used in hospitals to know if patients have left their beds.
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