Fabrication of Highly Stretchable, Washable, Wearable, Water-Repellent Strain Sensors with Multi-Stimuli Sensing Ability.ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Sep 19; 10(37):31655-31663.AA
Stretchable and wearable sensors with active response to various environmental stimuli possess numerous potential applications in stretchable electronics, motion sensors, environmental monitoring, and so on. Herein, we report a new method to realize control on the local conductive networks of strain sensors, thus, their sensing behavior. These multifunctional crack-based sensors were prepared via spray coating a mixture of carbon nanotube (CNT) and 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (KH550) with various ratios onto polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The conductive CNT/KH550 layer exhibits brittle mechanical behavior which triggers the formation of cracks upon stretching. This is thought to be responsible for the observed electromechanical behavior. These sensors exhibit adjustable gauge factors of 5-1000, stretchability (ε) of 2-250%, linearity (nonlinearity-linearity) and high durability over 1000 stretching-releasing cycles for mechanical deformation. Washable, wearable, and water-repellent sensors were prepared through such a method to successfully detect human physiological activities. Moreover, the variation in temperature or the presence of solvent can also be detected due to the thermal expansion and swelling of the PDMS layer. It is expected that such a concept could be used to prepare sensors for multiple applications, thanks to its multifunctionality, adjustable and robust performance, simple and low-cost fabrication strategy.