Recently, the demand for stretchable strain sensors used for detecting human motion is rapidly increasing. This paper proposes high-performance strain sensors based on Ag flake/Ag nanocrystal (NC) hybrid materials incorporated into a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer. The addition of Ag NCs into an Ag flake network enhances the electrical conductivity and sensitivity of the strain sensors. The intense localized heating of Ag flakes/NCs is induced by intense pulsed light (IPL) irradiation, to achieve efficient sintering of the Ag NCs within a second, without damaging the PDMS matrix. This leads to significant improvement in the sensor sensitivity. Our strain sensors are highly stretchable (maximum strain = 80%) and sensitive (gauge factor = 7.1) with high mechanical stability over 10 000 stretching cycles under 50% strain. For practical demonstration, the fabrication of a smart glove for detecting the motions of fingers and a sports band for measuring the applied arm strength is also presented. This study provides an effective method for fabricating elastomer-based high-performance stretchable electronics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea) under Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Program (No. 10067668/MO7310) and the government-funded Research Program of the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials Technology Innovation Program (NK210D). It was also supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2012R1A3A2026417).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)