Scientists use monolayer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) to create a flexible sensor that solves the problem of real-time temperature detection sensitivity, which can sense temperature changes in a few microseconds, about 100 times faster than commonly used thin-film metal detectors.
Many biomedical systems, pollution management and safety-critical machine control systems require fast and reliable thermal readings. Flexible sensor components usually need to be directly connected to human tissue or curved surfaces in order to obtain consistent and accurate data readings in real-time thermal detection systems.
Therefore, the implementation of next-generation temperature detectors on an extremely thin, uniform and flexible platform is essential to enhance interaction with biomaterials and to easily implant sensors in degradable packaging or electrical components.
Flexible temperature sensors based on two-dimensional (2D) materials have recently shown great promise in a variety of applications, including portable electronic products, robotic systems, medical services and prosthetics. Because of the non-toxic and biocompatibility of many two-dimensional materials, flexible sensors based on these materials can be used for real-time thermal sensing of implantable electronic products.
Two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials, such as graphene and carbon nanotubes (CNTs), have recently become promising candidates for flexible thermal detectors with special response capabilities. However, two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) are almost undeveloped in such applications, but have not received much attention.
Recent studies on molybdenum disulfide show that molybdenum disulfide has great potential as a new sensing material. Molybdenum disulfide has good cytocompatibility and high thermal resistance coefficient (TCR), but its real-time sensing efficiency and array integration ability need to be studied. In this study, the researchers used recently developed direct transfer technology to create a flexible sensor from atomic molybdenum disulfide for rapid and accurate thermal detection.
In order to achieve this flexible sensor, chemical vapor deposition is used to create a consistent monolayer molybdenum disulfide sheet. Before the molybdenum disulfide film is transported to the flexible platform, the gold contact is deposited and the molybdenum disulfide coating is structured. The surface is then spun with a 5 micron thick bendable polyimide (PI) substrate. This results in a very low surface roughness on the molybdenum disulfide surface.
The researchers also built 4x4's molybdenum disulfide temperature detector panel to demonstrate the feasibility of this unique material in the production of low-cost sensors for real-time temperature monitoring.
The researchers found that the thermal reaction time of the sensor was 36 microseconds, many orders of magnitude faster than the traditional thin-film metal sensor. Thermal analysis shows that the contact and packaging of molybdenum disulfide completely limit the reaction time of the flexible sensor. It runs stably during the cycle and has the ability of long-term thermal measurement when covered with alumina.
The contact of the molybdenum disulfide surface with air and water usually takes several minutes to precipitate, which can be attributed to the continuous increase in the electrical conductivity of the uncovered sensor after heating. On the other hand, the alumina cover is sufficient to passivate the molybdenum disulfide surface and stabilize the reaction of the flexible sensor.
In short, fast temperature detection is very important for real-time readout of large panels. For example, detect microsecond temperature changes in power electronic equipment to avoid mechanical damage. The study could use atomic semiconductors such as MoS2 to develop real-time temperature sensors.
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