Highly stretchable strain sensors with reduced graphene oxide sensing liquids for wearable electronics.Nanoscale. 2018 Mar 15; 10(11):5264-5271.N
Strain sensors with high sensitivity, broad sensing ranges and excellent durable stability are highly desirable due to their promising potential in electronic skins and human-friendly wearable interactive systems. Herein, we report a high-performance strain sensor based on rGO (reduced graphene oxide)/DI (deionized water) sensing elements. The strain sensors were fabricated by using Ecoflex rubber filled with rGO/DI conductive liquids via template methods, making the process simple, low-cost and scalable. The as-assembled strain sensors can be used to reflect both stretching and compressing with high sensitivity (a maximum gauge factor of 31.6 and a pressure sensitivity of 0.122 kPa-1), an ultralow limit of detection (0.1% strain), and excellent reliability and stability (>15 000 cycles for pressuring and >10 000 cycles for stretching). In particular, the maximum sensing range is up to 400%, much wider than that of the sensor recently reported. More significantly, the strain sensors are able to distinguish between touch/compressive (resistance decrease) and tensile (resistance increase) deformation, which has not been explored before. This interesting property of strain sensors is due to the micro-contact of nanomaterials in a liquid environment. The sensing liquid of the device can be refilled when it fails, and this enables the recycling of the materials and reduces the waste rate. Therefore, it is attractive and promising for practical applications in multifunctional wearable electronics such as the detection of acoustic vibration, human vocalization and other human motions.