Helical graphene oxide fibers as a stretchable sensor and an electrocapillary sucker†
Fibers made from carbon nanotubes or graphene are strong and conductive; encoding helical structures into these fibers may render useful properties such as high stretchability. Here, we directly spin freestanding graphene oxide (GO) films into helical fibers consisting of uniformly arranged loops with tunable diameters, under controlled environmental humidity. Reduced GO fibers with a helical shape are stretched elastically with a reversible electrical resistance change for many strain cycles. Stretchable temperature sensors built on helical fibers work at large strains (up to 50%) and high temperature (up to 300 °C), with a reliable deformation-independent response. The GO fibers also contain through-channels inside with suitable pore size, which can take up an aqueous electrolyte quickly under a low bias, resulting in a fiber-shaped, on–off switchable electrocapillary sucker. Our multifunctional helical and hollow GO fibers have potential applications in stretchable fiber-shaped sensors, actuators and nano-fluid systems.