Rapid-Response, Widely Stretchable Sensor of Aligned MWCNT/Elastomer Composites for Human Motion Detection

We studied the use of carbon-nanotube- (CNT)-based strain sensors as components of a textile-based, wearable sensing system for real-time motion detection. In the stretchable sensor, millimeter-long multiwalled CNTs (MWCNTs) are unidirectionally aligned and sandwiched between elastomer layers. We synthesized urethane resin to make the elastomer, which exhibits low elasticity and an affinity for human skin. The aligned CNT layer was formed by stacking CNT webs drawn from a spinnable CNT forest. The stretchable sensor can be stretched up to 200% and exhibits a short sensing delay of less than 15 ms. The gauge factor exceeds 10, which indicates high sensitivity. Moreover, the device is thin and as soft as human skin. The demonstrated flexibility and conformable nature make this material ideally suited for wearable sensors, specifically for a textile-based, wearable, real-time, human body motion-sensing application.