Strain sensors with adjustable sensitivity by tailoring the microstructure of graphene aerogel/PDMS nanocomposites

Wu, Shuying, Ladani, Raj B, Zhang, Jin, Ghorbani, Kamran, Zhang, Xuehua, Mouritz, Adrian, Kinloch, Anthony and Wang, Chun H 2016, Strain sensors with adjustable sensitivity by tailoring the microstructure of graphene aerogel/PDMS nanocomposites, ACS applied materials and interfaces, vol. 8, pp. 24853-24861, doi: 10.1021/acsami.6b06012.

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Title Strain sensors with adjustable sensitivity by tailoring the microstructure of graphene aerogel/PDMS nanocomposites
Author(s) Wu, Shuying
Ladani, Raj B
Zhang, JinORCID iD for Zhang, Jin
Ghorbani, Kamran
Zhang, Xuehua
Mouritz, Adrian
Kinloch, Anthony
Wang, Chun H
Journal name ACS applied materials and interfaces
Volume number 8
Start page 24853
End page 24861
Total pages 9
Publisher American Chemical Society
Place of publication Washington D.C., Wash.
Publication date 2016-08-30
ISSN 1944-8244
Keyword(s) graphene aerogel
adjustable piezoresistivity
strain sensor
Summary 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.
Language eng
DOI 10.1021/acsami.6b06012
Field of Research 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
091205 Functional Materials
030699 Physical Chemistry not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 861301 Aerospace Equipment
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, American Chemical Society
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Institute for Frontier Materials
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