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Ultrasensitive, flexible, and low-cost nanoporous piezoresistive composite for tactile pressure sensing

Abstract

Highly sensitive flexible tactile sensors are of continuing interest for various applications including wearable devices, human-machine interface, and internet of things. Current technologies for high sensitivity piezoresistive sensors rely on costly materials and/or fabrication methods such as graphene-based and micro-structured composites limiting accessibility and scalability. Here, we report a facile sacrificial casting-etching method to synthesize nanoporous carbon nanotube/polymer composites for ultra-sensitive and low-cost piezoresistive pressure sensors. Our synthesis method overcomes the limitations of traditional solution-dip-coating method for adhering nanoscale conductive materials to the nanoscale porous surface. Importantly, we show ultra-high sensitivity with a strain gauge factor over 300, which is ~50 times higher than that of traditional CNT-based piezoresistive sensors and ~10 times higher than most of graphene-based ones. For practical tactile sensing applications, we demonstrate that the sensors can detect both gentle pressures (1 Pa-1 kPa) and low-pressure (1 kPa-25 kPa) with a fraction of cost. Our nanoporous polymer composite could contribute to expanding the scope of using nanocomposites for applications including subtle locomotion sensing, interactive human-machine interface systems, and internet of things from its easy tunability for sensing diverse range tactile signals.

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Dec 2018, accepted on 02 Jan 2019 and first published on 03 Jan 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR09959F
Citation: Nanoscale, 2019, Accepted Manuscript
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    Ultrasensitive, flexible, and low-cost nanoporous piezoresistive composite for tactile pressure sensing

    J. Li, S. Orrego, J. Pan, P. He and S. H. Kang, Nanoscale, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR09959F

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