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High-Performance Strain Sensors Based on Au/Graphene Composite Films with Hierarchical Cracks for Wide Linear-Range Motion Monitoring

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posted on 2022-08-21, 15:20 authored by Xiang Cheng, Jun Cai, Jiahua Xu, De Gong
Stretchable strain sensors based on nanomaterial thin films have aroused extensive interest for the strain perception of smart skins. However, it still remains challenging to have them achieve high sensitivity over wide linear working ranges. Herein, we propose a facile strategy to fabricate stretchable strain sensors based on Au/graphene composite films (AGCFs) with hierarchical cracks and demonstrate their superior sensing performances. The polydimethylsiloxane substrates were covered with self-assembled graphene films (SAGFs) and sputtered with Au, and then prestretching was applied to introduce hierarchical cracks. The AGCF strain sensors exhibited high sensitivity (gauge factor (GF) ≈ 153) and favorable linearity (R2 ≈ 0.9975) in the wide working range (0–20%) with ultralow overshooting (∼1.7% at 20%), fast response (<42.5 ms), and also excellent cycling stability (1500 cycles). Besides, these patternable sensors could further achieve higher GF (∼320) via pattern designing. The dominant effect of the intermediate wrinkled SAGFs in forming hierarchical cracks was studied, and the linear sensing mechanism of the as-formed fractal microstructures was also revealed in detail. Moreover, the AGCF strain sensors were tested for motion monitoring of the human body and electronic bird. Due to the remarkable versatility, scalable fabrication, and integration capability, these sensors demonstrate great potential to construct smart skins.

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