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Issue 42, 2017
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Engineering of carbon nanotube/polydimethylsiloxane nanocomposites with enhanced sensitivity for wearable motion sensors

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Abstract

Nanocomposite based wearable strain sensors hold promise for a variety of applications from human body motion detection to soft robotics. However, improving the sensitivity of strain sensors while keeping their stretchability (i.e., strain detection range) is still a grand challenge in this area. In this research, a highly efficient and scalable method was developed to enhance the sensitivity of a strain sensor based on carbon nanotube/polydimethylsiloxane (CNT/PDMS) nanocomposites. Through the introduction of porosity into the nanocomposites to form CNT/PDMS sponges using citric acid monohydrate particles, the sensitivity (GF = 15, strain (ε) > 15%; GF = 1.1, ε < 15%) is improved compared to the CNT/PDMS nanocomposites without a porous structure (GF = 3.2, ε > 10%; GF = 0.12, ε < 10%). The strain sensor based on the CNT/PDMS sponge not only shows the capability of monitoring human body motion, such as bending of a finger and elbow, speaking, drinking, and breathing, but also demonstrates potential applications in soft robotics, such as detection of the actuation of a dielectric elastomer.

Graphical abstract: Engineering of carbon nanotube/polydimethylsiloxane nanocomposites with enhanced sensitivity for wearable motion sensors

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Jul 2017, accepted on 10 Oct 2017 and first published on 13 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TC03434B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2017,5, 11092-11099
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    Engineering of carbon nanotube/polydimethylsiloxane nanocomposites with enhanced sensitivity for wearable motion sensors

    Q. Li, J. Li, D. Tran, C. Luo, Y. Gao, C. Yu and F. Xuan, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2017, 5, 11092
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TC03434B

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