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Nat Nanotechnol. 2011 Oct 23;6(12):788-92. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2011.184.

Skin-like pressure and strain sensors based on transparent elastic films of carbon nanotubes.

Abstract

Transparent, elastic conductors are essential components of electronic and optoelectronic devices that facilitate human interaction and biofeedback, such as interactive electronics, implantable medical devices and robotic systems with human-like sensing capabilities. The availability of conducting thin films with these properties could lead to the development of skin-like sensors that stretch reversibly, sense pressure (not just touch), bend into hairpin turns, integrate with collapsible, stretchable and mechanically robust displays and solar cells, and also wrap around non-planar and biological surfaces such as skin and organs, without wrinkling. We report transparent, conducting spray-deposited films of single-walled carbon nanotubes that can be rendered stretchable by applying strain along each axis, and then releasing this strain. This process produces spring-like structures in the nanotubes that accommodate strains of up to 150% and demonstrate conductivities as high as 2,200 S cm(-1) in the stretched state. We also use the nanotube films as electrodes in arrays of transparent, stretchable capacitors, which behave as pressure and strain sensors.

PMID:
22020121
DOI:
10.1038/nnano.2011.184
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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