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Current issue

ELEKTRO 12/2017 was released on December 6th 2017. Its digital version will be available on January 5th 2018.

Topic: Measurement, measuring devices and engineering; Testing and diagnostics

Main Article
Measurements on rotating machines using SFRA method
Application possibilities of ultra-capacitors or LiFePO4 batteries in trolley network of the Brno Public Transit Company

SVĚTLO (Light) 5/2017 was released on September 18th 2017. Its digital version will be available on September 18th 2017.

Luminaires and luminous apparatuses
MAYBE STYLE introducing LED design luminaires of German producer Lightnet
TREVOS – new luminaires for industry and offices
How many types of LED panels produces MODUS?
Intelligent LED luminaire RENO PROFI

Interiors lighting
The light in indoor flat interior – questions and answers

Temperature sensor for artificial skin

30.01.2017 | ETH Zurich | www.ethz.ch

The capacity to detect temperature changes is an important function of the human skin. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now developed a highly sensitive and, at the same time, flexible temperature sensor, which could soon be used in prosthetic limbs and robotic arms.

Serendipity played an important role in the discovery of this temperature sensor. In his research, Raffaele Di Giacomo, who led the project in the laboratory of ETH-professor Daraio, had initially stumbled upon a peculiarity of the vegetable material pectin. Pectin is better known around the household as a gelling agent for puddings and marmalades, but Di Giacomo was interested in a different property of this substance, which is composed of many interconnected sugar molecules.

Temperature sensor for artificial skin

Experiments on tree branches, whose cell walls contain pectin, had shown that their electrical conductivity depended strongly on temperature. To investigate the mechanism behind that dependence, the researchers in Zurich created an artificial “cyberwood” made from pectin and carbon nanotubes.

By measuring the electrical resistance at different temperatures they eventually found that calcium ions trapped at the contact points between two sugar molecules were responsible for the sensing mechanism. The higher the temperature, the more free calcium ions were present in the artificial wood, and hence the better it conducted electrical current.

Read more at ETH Zurich

Image Credit: ETH Zurich / Raffaele di Giacomo

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