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Three-Dimensional Continuous Conductive Nanostructure for Highly Sensitive and Stretchable Strain Sensor

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journal contribution
posted on 28.04.2017, 00:00 by Donghwi Cho, Junyong Park, Jin Kim, Taehoon Kim, Jungmo Kim, Inkyu Park, Seokwoo Jeon
The demand for wearable strain gauges that can detect dynamic human motions is growing in the area of healthcare technology. However, the realization of efficient sensing materials for effective detection of human motions in daily life is technically challenging due to the absence of the optimally designed electrode. Here, we propose a novel concept for overcoming the intrinsic limits of conventional strain sensors based on planar electrodes by developing highly periodic and three-dimensional (3D) bicontinuous nanoporous electrodes. We create a 3D bicontinuous nanoporous electrode by constructing conductive percolation networks along the surface of porous 3D nanostructured poly­(dimethylsiloxane) with single-walled carbon nanotubes. The 3D structural platform allows fabrication of a strain sensor with robust properties such as a gauge factor of up to 134 at a tensile strain of 40%, a widened detection range of up to 160%, and a cyclic property of over 1000 cycles. Collectively, this study provides new design opportunities for a highly efficient sensing system that finely captures human motions, including phonations and joint movements.