Strain Sensors with Adjustable Sensitivity by Tailoring the Microstructure of Graphene Aerogel/PDMS Nanocomposites

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Title: Strain Sensors with Adjustable Sensitivity by Tailoring the Microstructure of Graphene Aerogel/PDMS Nanocomposites
Authors: Wu, S
Ladani, R
Zhang, J
Ghorbani, K
Zhang, X
Mouritz, AP
Kinloch, AJ
Wang, CH
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Strain sensors with high elastic limit and high sensitivity are required to meet the rising demand for wearable electronics. Here, we present the fabrication of highly sensitive strain sensors based on nanocomposites consisting of graphene aerogel (GA) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), with the primary focus being to tune the sensitivity of the sensors by tailoring the cellular microstructure through controlling the manufacturing processes. The resultant nanocomposite sensors exhibit a high sensitivity with a gauge factor of up to approximately 61.3. Of significant importance is that the sensitivity of the strain sensors can be readily altered by changing the concentration of the precursor (i.e., an aqueous dispersion of graphene oxide) and the freezing temperature used to process the GA. The results reveal that these two parameters control the cell size and cell-wall thickness of the resultant GA, which may be correlated to the observed variations in the sensitivities of the strain sensors. The higher is the concentration of graphene oxide, then the lower is the sensitivity of the resultant nanocomposite strain sensor. Upon increasing the freezing temperature from −196 to −20 °C, the sensitivity increases and reaches a maximum value of 61.3 at −50 °C and then decreases with a further increase in freezing temperature to −20 °C. Furthermore, the strain sensors offer excellent durability and stability, with their piezoresistivities remaining virtually unchanged even after 10 000 cycles of high-strain loading–unloading. These novel findings pave the way to custom design strain sensors with a desirable piezoresistive behavior.
Issue Date: 30-Aug-2016
Date of Acceptance: 30-Aug-2016
ISSN: 1944-8244
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Start Page: 24853
End Page: 24861
Journal / Book Title: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Volume: 8
Issue: 37
Copyright Statement: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Keywords: adjustable piezoresistivity
graphene aerogel
strain sensor
Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
0904 Chemical Engineering
0303 Macromolecular And Materials Chemistry
0306 Physical Chemistry (Incl. Structural)
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

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