Ultrasensitive Cracking-Assisted Strain Sensors Based on Silver Nanowires/Graphene Hybrid Particles

Strain sensors with ultrahigh sensitivity under microstrain have numerous potential applications in heartbeat monitoring, pulsebeat detection, sound signal acquisition, and recognition. In this work, a two-part strain sensor (i.e., polyurethane part and brittle conductive hybrid particles layer on top) based on silver nanowires/graphene hybrid particles is developed via a simple coprecipitation, reduction, vacuum filtration, and casting process. Because of the nonuniform interface, weak interfacial bonding, and the hybrid particles’ point-to-point conductive networks, the crack and overlap morphologies are successfully formed on the strain sensor after a prestretching; the crack-based stain sensor exhibits gauge factors as high as 20 (Δε < 0.3%), 1000 (0.3% < Δε < 0.5%), and 4000 (0.8% < Δε < 1%). In addition, we demonstrate the sensing mechanism under strain results in the high gauge factor of the strain sensor. Combined with its good response to bending, high strain resolution, and high working stability, the developed strain sensor is promising in the applications of electronic skins, motion sensors, and health monitoring sensors.