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Controllably Enhancing Stretchability of Highly Sensitive Fiber-Based Strain Sensors for Intelligent Monitoring

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posted on 21.12.2018, 00:00 authored by Xinqin Liao, Wensong Wang, Liang Wang, Kai Tang, Yuanjin Zheng
Functional strain sensing is essential to develop health monitoring and Internet of Things. The performance of either narrow sensing range or low sensitivity restricts strain sensors in a wider range of future applications. Attaining both high sensitivity and wide sensing range of a strain sensor remains challenging. Herein, a cluster-type microstructures strategy is proposed for engineering high stretchability of highly sensitive strain sensor. The resistance change of the strain sensor is determined by the deformation of the cluster-type microstructures from close arrangement to orderly interval state during being stretched. Because of the unique geometric structure and conductive connection type of the sensing material, the strain sensor achieves a considerable performance that features both high sensitivity (gauge factor up to 2700) and high stretchability (sensing range of 160% strain). Fast response time and long-term stability are other characteristics of the strain sensor. Monitoring of multiple limb joints and controlling of audible and visual devices are demonstrated as the proof-of-concept abilities of the strain sensor. This study not only puts forward a novel design thought of strain sensor but also offers considerable insights into its potential value toward burgeoning fields including but not limited to real-time health monitoring and intelligent controls.