Eraser-based eco-friendly fabrication of a skin-like large-area matrix of flexible carbon nanotube strain and pressure sensors

Sahatiya, P and Badhulika, Sushmee (2017) Eraser-based eco-friendly fabrication of a skin-like large-area matrix of flexible carbon nanotube strain and pressure sensors. Nanotechnology, 28 (9). 095501. ISSN 1361-6528

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This paper reports a new type of electronic, recoverable skin-like pressure and strain sensor, produced on a flexible, biodegradable pencil-eraser substrate and fabricated using a solvent-free, low-cost and energy efficient process. Multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) film, the strain sensing element, was patterned on pencil eraser with a rolling pin and a pre-compaction mechanical press. This induces high interfacial bonding between the MWCNTs and the eraser substrate, which enables the sensor to achieve recoverability under ambient conditions. The eraser serves as a substrate for strain sensing, as well as acting as a dielectric for capacitive pressure sensing, thereby eliminating the dielectric deposition step, which is crucial in capacitive-based pressure sensors. The strain sensing transduction mechanism is attributed to the tunneling effect, caused by the elastic behavior of the MWCNTs and the strong mechanical interlock between MWCNTs and the eraser substrate, which restricts slippage of MWCNTs on the eraser thereby minimizing hysteresis. The gauge factor of the strain sensor was calculated to be 2.4, which is comparable to and even better than most of the strain and pressure sensors fabricated with more complex designs and architectures. The sensitivity of the capacitive pressure sensor was found to be 0.135 MPa-1.To demonstrate the applicability of the sensor as artificial electronic skin, the sensor was assembled on various parts of the human body and corresponding movements and touch sensation were monitored. The entire fabrication process is scalable and can be integrated into large areas to map spatial pressure distributions. This low-cost, easily scalable MWCNT pin-rolled eraser-based pressure and strain sensor has huge potential in applications such as artificial e-skin in flexible electronics and medical diagnostics, in particular in surgery as it provides high spatial resolution without a complex nanostructure architecture.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Badhulika, SushmeeUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: artificial skin; carbon nanotubes; eraser substrate; flexible pressure and strain sensor; rolling pin
Subjects: Others > Electricity
Divisions: Department of Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 11:29
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2017 09:12
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