Local crack-programmed gold nanowire electronic skin tattoos for in-plane multisensor integration

Shu Gong, Lim Wei Yap, Bowen Zhu, Qingfeng Zhai, Yiyi Liu, Quanxia Lyu, Kaixuan Wang, Mingjie Yang, Yunzhi Ling, Daniel T.H. Lai, Faezeh Marzbanrad, Wenlong Cheng

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153 Citations (Scopus)


Sensitive, specific, yet multifunctional tattoo-like electronics are ideal wearable systems for “any time, any where” health monitoring because they can virtually become parts of the human skin, offering a burdenless “unfeelable” wearing experience. A skin-like, multifunctional electronic tattoo made entirely from gold using a standing enokitake-mushroom-like vertically aligned nanowire membrane in conjunction with a programmable local cracking technology is reported. Unlike previous multifunctional systems, only a single material type is needed for the integrated gold circuits involved in interconnects and multiplexed specific sensors, thereby avoiding the use of complex multimaterials interfaces. This is possiblebecause the programmable local cracking technology allows for the arbitrary fine-tuning of the properties of elastic gold conductors from strain-insensitive to highly strain-sensitive simply by adjusting localized crack size, shape, and orientations—a capability impossible to achieve with previous bulk cracking technology. Furthermore, in-plane integration of strain/pressure sensors, anisotropic orientation-specific sensors, strain-insensitive stretchable interconnects, temperature sensors, glucose sensors, and lactate sensors without the need of soldering or gluing are demonstrated. This strategy opens a new general route for the design of next-generation wearable electronic tattoos.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1903789
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2019


  • electronic skin
  • electronic tattoos
  • gold nanowires
  • programmable cracking

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