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Ultrasensitive and Stretchable Conductive Fibers Using Percolated Pd Nanoparticle Networks for Multisensing Wearable Electronics: Crack-Based Strain and H2 Sensors

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posted on 2020-09-24, 12:05 authored by Chihyeong Won, Sanggeun Lee, Han Hee Jung, Janghoon Woo, Kukro Yoon, Jaehong Lee, Chaebeen Kwon, Minkyu Lee, Heetak Han, Yongfeng Mei, Kyung-In Jang, Taeyoon Lee
The need for wearable electronic devices continues to grow, and the research is under way for stretchable fiber-type sensors that are sensitive to the surrounding atmosphere and will provide proficient measurement capabilities. Currently, one-dimensional fiber sensors have several limitations for their extensive use because of the complex structures of the sensing mechanisms. Thus, it is essential to miniaturize these materials with durability while integrating multiple sensing capabilities. Herein, we present an ultrasensitive and stretchable conductive fiber sensor using PdNP networks embedded in elastomeric polymers for crack-based strain and H2 sensing. The fiber multimodal sensors show a gauge factor of ∼2040 under 70% strain and reliable mechanical deformation tolerance (10,000 stretching cycles) in the strain-sensor mode. For H2 sensing, the fiber multimodal sensors exhibit a wide sensing range of high sensitivity: −0.43% response at 5 ppm (0.0005%) H2 gas and −27.3% response at 10% H2 gas. For the first time, we demonstrate highly stretchable H2 sensors that can detect H2 gas under 110% strain with mechanical durability. As demonstrated, their stable performance allows them to be used in wearable applications that integrate fiber multimodal sensors into industrial safety clothing along with a microinorganic light-emitting diode for visual indication, which exhibits proper activation upon H2 gas exposure.

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