Conductive Polymer-Coated Carbon Nanotubes To Construct Stretchable and Transparent Electrochemical Sensors.Anal Chem. 2017 02 07; 89(3):2032-2038.AC
Carbon nanotube (CNT)-based flexible sensors have been intensively developed for physical sensing. However, great challenges remain in fabricating stretchable CNT films with high electrochemical performance for real-time chemical sensing, due to large sheet resistance of CNT film and further resistance increase caused by separation between each CNT during stretching. Herein, we develop a facile and versatile strategy to construct single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs)-based stretchable and transparent electrochemical sensors, by coating and binding each SWNT with conductive polymer. As a polymer with high conductivity, good electrochemical activity, and biocompatibility, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) acting as a superior conductive coating and binder reduces contact resistance and greatly improves the electrochemical performance of SWNTs film. Furthermore, PEDOT protects the SWNTs junctions from separation during stretching, which endows the sensor with highly mechanical compliance and excellent electrochemical performance during big deformation. These unique features allow real-time monitoring of biochemical signals from mechanically stretched cells. This work represents an important step toward construction of a high performance CNTs-based stretchable electrochemical sensor, therefore broadening the way for stretchable sensors in a diversity of biomedical applications.