Elastic Organic Crystals as Bioinspired Hair-Like Sensors

Soha Yousuf, Jad Mahmoud Halabi, Ibrahim Tahir, Ejaz Ahmed, Rachid Rezgui, Liang Li, Praveen Laws, Mohammed Daqaq, Panče Naumov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the typical haptic elements are natural hairy structures that animals and plants rely on for feedback. Although these hair sensors are an admirable inspiration, the development of active flow sensing components having low elastic moduli and high aspect ratios remains a challenge. Here, we report a new sensing approach based on a flexible, thin and optically transmissive organic crystal of high aspect ratio, which is stamped with fluorescent dye for tracking. When subjected to gas flow and exposed to laser, the crystal bends due to exerted pressure and acts as an optical flow (hair) sensor with low detection limit (≈1.578 m s−1) and fast response time (≈2.70 s). The air-flow-induced crystal deformation and flow dynamics response are modelled by finite element analysis. Due to having a simple design and being lightweight and mechanically robust this prototypical crystal hair-like sensor opens prospects for a new class of sensing devices ranging from wearable electronics to aeronautics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere202217329
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 20 2023


  • Air Flow Sensors
  • Dynamic Crystals
  • Hair Sensors
  • Organic Crystals
  • Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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