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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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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Oct 2015, accepted on 03 Dec 2015 and first published on 03 Dec 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5TC03413B
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J. Mater. Chem. C, 2016,4, 460-467

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    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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