Abstract: Skin is the body’s largest organ. It is responsible for the transduction of a vast amount of information. This conformable, stretchable, self-healable and biodegradable material
simultaneously collects signals from external stimuli that translate into information such as pressure, pain, and temperature. The development of electronic materials, inspired by the
complexity of this organ is a tremendous, unrealized materials challenge. However, the advent of organic-based electronic materials may offer a potential solution to this longstanding problem.
Over the past decade, we have developed materials design concepts to add skin-like functions to organic electronic materials without compromising their electronic properties. An important
discovery was nano-confined polymer semiconductors and conductors. This finding addressed the long-standing challenge of conformational disorder-limited charge transport with polymer
electronic materials. It enabled us to introduce various skin-like functions while simultaneously increase polymer electronic material charge transport ability. The above fundamental
understanding further allowed us to develop direct photo-patterning methods and fabrication processes for high-density large scale soft stretchable integrated circuits. In addition, we
developed various soft sensors for continuous measurements, including pressure, strain, shear, temperature, electrophysiological and neurotransmitter sensors. The above sensors and integrated circuits are the foundations for soft bioelectronics and are enabling a broad range of new tools for medical devices, robotics and wearable electronics.
Bio: Zhenan Bao is K.K. Lee Professor of Chemical Engineering, and by courtesy, a Professor of Chemistry and Material Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Bao founded the Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiate (eWEAR) in 2016 and serves as the faculty director. She received her Ph.D in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1995. She has over 700 refereed publications and over 100 US patents with a Google Scholar H-Index >201. Bao is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors. She is a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She is a Fellow of MRS, ACS, AAAS, SPIE, ACS PMSE and ACS POLY. Bao was named as Nature magazine 2015 “Master of Materials” for her work on artificial electronic skin.