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Ph.D. positions in the Max Planck-ETH Center for Learning Systems

The Center offers a unique fellowship program, where PhD students are co-supervised by one advisor from ETH Zurich and one from the MPI for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen and Stuttgart. PhD students are expected to take advantage of the opportunities offered by both organizations and to actively seek cross-group collaborations. All PhD fellows will register as graduate students at ETH Zurich and - upon successful completion of their PhD project - be granted a doctoral degree by ETH Zurich.

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Computational analysis of metallic nanowire-elastomer nanocomposite based strain sensors

Possessing a strong piezoresistivity, nanocomposites of metal nanowires and elastomer have been studied extensively for its use in highly flexible, stretchable, and sensitive sensors. In this work, we analyze the working mechanism and performance of a nanocomposite based stretchable strain sensor by calculating the conductivity of the nanowire percolation network as a function of strain. We reveal that the nonlinear piezoresistivity is attributed to the topological change of percolation network, which leads to a bottleneck in the electric path.

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Finger Motion Detection Glove Toward Human-Machine Interface

Finger motion capturing systems have a wide variety of applications such as telerobotics, rehabilitation, and avatar control. While commercial devices are too costly, studies on such systems are either impractical to use or have speed limitations. This paper proposes a practical version of the glovebased finger motion capturing system.

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Ultra-stretchable and skin-mountable strain sensors using carbon nanotubes–Ecoflex nanocomposites

Super-stretchable, skin-mountable, and ultra-soft strain sensors are presented by using carbon nanotube percolation networksilicone rubber nanocomposite thin films. The applicability of the
strain sensors as epidermal electronic systems, in which mechanical compliance like human skin and high stretchability (e > 100%) are required, has been explored. The sensitivity of the strain

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Piezoresistivity of Ag NWs-PDMS nanocomposite

In this work, we developed a conductive silver nanowire (AgNW)-PDMS composite thin film for a flexible strain sensing application. The piezoresistivity of AgNWs-PDMS nanocomposite thin film was experimentally investigated and analyzed by a computational model. The strain sensor shows a strong piezoresistivity with an average gauge factor in the ranges of 1.6 to 14 and a high stretchability up to 70 %. We found excellent agreement between our experiment and simulation results.

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Carbon Nanotubes-Ecoflex Nanocomposite for Strain Sensing With Ultra-High Stretchability

We developed highly stretchable, flexible and very soft conductors based on the carbon nanotubes (CNTs)-silicone rubber (Ecoflex®) nanocomposite thin films. The resistance of the CNTs-Ecoflex nanocomposite thin film was recovered to its original value under cyclic loading/unloading for strains as large as 510%. Failure strain of the CNTs-Ecoflex nanocomposite was measured to be about ~ 1380% showing its ultra-high stretchability and robustness. As an application of our highly stretchable conductors, we utilized them as skin-mountable and wearable strain sensors for human motion detection.

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Flexible and Sensitive Foot Pad for Sole Distributed Force Detection

In this work, we develop high flexible and compressible porous PDMS structures by using sugar cubes as templates. Force sensitive resistor (FSR) sensors were fabricated by the filtration of the CNT solution inside the porous structure of PDMS. We found that sufficient acid treatment can increase the adhesion between CNTs and PDMS. FSR sensors respond the applied pressure and compressive strains by high linearity (R2>0.97) and sensitivity (GFs>2) with a reliable manner.

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Sensitive and stable strain sensors based on the wavy structured electrodes

Herein, we develop capacitive type strain sensors composed of the CNTs-PDMS nanocomposite thin films as electrodes and PDMS dielectric layer. The strain sensing performances of the strain sensors made of the flat and wavy structured electrodes are compared. Both types of strain sensors can measure strains up to 100%. We found that wavy structured based strain sensors possess higher sensitivity with quite stable and reliable responses due to the resistance stability and very low resistance standard deviation of the wavy structured electrodes.

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Ag@Ni Core–Shell Nanowire Network for Robust Transparent Electrodes Against Oxidation and Sulfurization

Silver nanowire (Ag NW) based transparent electrodes are inherently unstable to moist and chemically reactive environment. A remarkable stability improvement of the Ag NW network film against oxidizing and sulfurizing environment by local electrodeposition of Ni along Ag NWs is reported. The optical transmittance and electrical resistance of the Ni deposited Ag NW network film can be easily controlled by adjusting the morphology and thickness of the Ni shell layer.

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Highly Stretchable and Sensitive Strain Sensor Based on Silver Nanowire–Elastomer Nanocomposite

The demand for flexible and wearable electronic devices is increasing due to their facile interaction with human body. Flexible, stretchable and wearable sensors can be easily mounted on clothing or directly attached onto the body. Especially, highly stretchable and sensitive strain sensors are needed for the human motion detection.

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