Nano Research

, Volume 10, Issue 8, pp 2683–2691 | Cite as

Flexible electronic eardrum

  • Yang Gu
  • Xuewen Wang
  • Wen Gu
  • Yongjin Wu
  • Tie Li
  • Ting Zhang
Research Article


Flexible mechanosensors with a high sensitivity and fast response speed may advance the wearable and implantable applications of healthcare devices, such as real-time heart rate, pulse, and respiration monitoring. In this paper, we introduce a novel flexible electronic eardrum (EE) based on single-walled carbon nanotubes, poly-ethylene, and poly-dimethylsiloxane with micro-structured pyramid arrays. The EE device shows a high sensitivity, high signal-to-noise ratio (approximately 55 dB), and fast response time (76.9 μs) in detecting and recording sound within a frequency domain of 20–13,000 Hz. The mechanism for sound detection is investigated and the sensitivity is determined using the micro-structure, thickness, and strain state. We also demonstrated that the device is able to distinguish human voices. This unprecedented performance of the flexible electronic eardrum has implications for many applications such as implantable acoustical bioelectronics and personal voice recognition.


electronic eardrum (EE) pressure sensor carbon nanotube voice recognition 


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We acknowledge the funding support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61574163), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2015M571837) and the Foundation Research Project of Jiangsu Province (No. BK20150364).

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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Gu
    • 1
  • Xuewen Wang
    • 1
  • Wen Gu
    • 1
  • Yongjin Wu
    • 1
  • Tie Li
    • 1
  • Ting Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-BionicsSuzhouChina

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