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Highly stretchable, rapid-response strain sensor based on SWCNTs/CB nanocomposites coated on rubber/latex polymer for human motion tracking

Ying Huang (School of Electronic Science and Applied Physics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China)
Chao Hao (School of Electronic Science and Applied Physics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China)
Jian Liu (School of Electronic Science and Applied Physics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China)
Xiaohui Guo (School of Electronic Science and Applied Physics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China)
Yangyang Zhang (School of Electronic Science and Applied Physics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China)
Ping Liu (School of Electronic Science and Applied Physics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China)
Caixia Liu (School of Electronic Science and Applied Physics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China)
Yugang Zhang (School of Electronic Science and Applied Physics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China)
Xiaoming Yang (Zhejiang Ouren New Materials Co., Ltd, Jiaxing, China)

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 5 September 2018

Issue publication date: 18 March 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to present a highly stretchable and flexible strain sensor with simple and low cost of fabrication process and excellent dynamic characteristics, which make it suitable for human motion monitoring under large strain and high frequency.

Design/methodology/approach

The strain sensor was fabricated using the rubber/latex polymer as elastic carrier and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)/carbon black (CB) as a synergistic conductive network. The rubber/latex polymer was pre-treated in naphtha and then soaked in SWCNTs/CB/silicon rubber composite solution. The strain sensing and other performance of the sensor were measured and human motion tracking applications were tried.

Findings

These strain sensors based on aforementioned materials display high stretchability (500 per cent), excellent flexibility, fast response (approximately 45 ms), low creep (3.1 per cent at 100 per cent strain), temperature and humidity independence, superior stability and reproducibility during approximately 5,000 stretch/release cycles. Furthermore, the authors used these composites as human motion sensors, effectively monitoring joint motion, indicating that the stretchable strain sensor based on the rubber/latex polymer and the synergetic effects of mixed SWCNTs and CB could have promising applications in flexible and wearable devices for human motion tracking.

Originality/value

This paper presents a low-cost and a new type of strain sensor with excellent performance that can open up new fields of applications in flexible, stretchable and wearable electronics, especially in human motion tracking applications where very large strain should be accommodated by the strain sensor.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61673369 and 61471155), the State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics of Southeast University and Key Research and Development Project of Zhejiang Province (Grant No. 2018C01041). The author(s) of this article have not made their research data set openly available. Any enquiries regarding the data set can be directed to the corresponding author.

Citation

Huang, Y., Hao, C., Liu, J., Guo, X., Zhang, Y., Liu, P., Liu, C., Zhang, Y. and Yang, X. (2019), "Highly stretchable, rapid-response strain sensor based on SWCNTs/CB nanocomposites coated on rubber/latex polymer for human motion tracking", Sensor Review, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 233-245. https://doi.org/10.1108/SR-01-2018-0004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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