Authors Ke, K. ; Wang, Y. ; Li, Y. ; Yang, J. ; Pötschke, P. ; Voit, B.
Title Nuomici-inspired universal strategy for boosting piezoresistive sensitivity and elasticity of polymer nanocomposite-based strain sensors
Date 30.08.2019
Number 57067
Abstract Electrically conductive polymer composites (CPCs) are potential alternatives to conventional strain gauges due to their tunable sensitivity and strain ranges. Currently, to achieve very high piezoresistive sensitivity in thermoplastic-based CPCs with Gauge factors GF above 20 at low tensile strains (e = 5%) is a big challenge, but critical for structural health monitoring application in infrastructures. Here, inspired by the unique structures of a famous Chinese food, nuomici, we coat carbon nanotubes (CNTs) onto sticky acrylic rubber (AR) granules (ARG) to form nuomici-like CNT@ARG composite granules, which are employed as unique conductive filler to fabricate highly piezoresistive and flexible CPCs based on poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF). This strategy of localizing CNTs densely on the surface of touching rubbery particles resulted in a much more sensitive elastic conductive network built by the CNT@AR composite and showed a big gain effect. The resultant PVDF/CNT@AR nanocomposites (AR content ranging from 0 to 10 wt %) show extremely high piezoresistive sensitivity at low strain, depending on the AR content. In particular, the GF value of PVDF with 1.5 wt % CNT@10 wt % AR is 41 at 5% strain, which is more than one magnitude higher than that (ca. 3) of traditional PVDF/CNT nanocomposite sensors. Moreover, the elongation at break increases by about 60% with the addition of 1.5 wt CNT@10 wt % AR. This study introduces a universal effective strategy for tailoring the mechanical properties and strain sensitivity of conductive network in CPCs, which is critical for the fabrication of high-performance strain sensors.
Publisher ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Citation ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 11 (2019) 35362-35370

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