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Issue 3, 2016
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Highly stretchable and sensitive piezoresistive carbon nanotube/elastomeric triisocyanate-crosslinked polytetrahydrofuran nanocomposites

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Abstract

Piezoresistive polymer nanocomposites are highly desirable for flexible mechanical sensing applications. In this study, a family of multi-walled carbon nanotube (CNT)/elastomeric triisocyanate-crosslinked polytetrahydrofuran (ETC-PTHF) nanocomposites that are highly stretchable and highly sensitive to mechanical stimuli were designed, synthesized, and characterized. The CNTs in the CNT/ETC-PTHF nanocomposites were initially dispersed in the ETC-PTHF matrix uniformly, leading to a relatively high electrical conductivity. Upon stretching, both the degree of CNT alignment along the stretching direction and the degree of PTHF crystallinity increased consistently with the tensile strain. The strain-induced microstructure change adversely affected the CNT conducting pathways, thereby reducing the electrical conductivity of the nanocomposites. For instance, the electrical conductivity of the 15 wt% CNT/ETC-PTHF nanocomposites decreased by approximately 7.3%, 29.2%, and 19.76, 169.2 and 1291 times when the tensile strain was 1%, 5%, 50%, 250%, and 500%, respectively. The nanocomposite film was able to detect a mechanical stimulus (poking) weaker than the landing force of a mosquito. Furthermore, the nanocomposite film demonstrated rapid and highly sensitive responses to continuous finger motion. These new piezoresistive CNT/ETC-PTHF nanocomposites possess a number of desirable characteristics including ease of fabrication, low cost, and high sensitivity, thereby making them very promising candidates for applications in electronic skins, electronic textiles, and biomedical detectors.

Graphical abstract: Highly stretchable and sensitive piezoresistive carbon nanotube/elastomeric triisocyanate-crosslinked polytetrahydrofuran nanocomposites

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
19 Oct 2015
Accepted
03 Dec 2015
First published
03 Dec 2015

J. Mater. Chem. C, 2016,4, 460-467
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Highly stretchable and sensitive piezoresistive carbon nanotube/elastomeric triisocyanate-crosslinked polytetrahydrofuran nanocomposites

Y. Wang, H. Mi, Q. Zheng, H. Zhang, Z. Ma and S. Gong, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2016, 4, 460
DOI: 10.1039/C5TC03413B

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