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Research Papers

Direct-Write Stretchable Sensors Using Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube/Polymer Matrix

[+] Author and Article Information
Yanfeng Lu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
The University of Akron,
244 Sumner Street,
Akron, OH 44325

Kye-Shin Lee

Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering,
The University of Akron,
244 Sumner Street,
Akron, OH 44325

Ho-Chan Kim

Department of Mechanical and
Automotive Engineering,
Andong National University,
1375 Gyeongdong-ro, Andong-si,
Gyeoungbuk-do 760-749, South Korea
e-mail: hckim@andong.ac.kr

Jae-Won Choi

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
The University of Akron,
244 Sumner Street,
Akron, OH 44325
e-mail: palagent@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received March 15, 2012; final manuscript received December 12, 2012; published online February 26, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Kyoung-sik Moon.

J. Electron. Packag 135(1), 011009 (Feb 26, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: EP-12-1041; doi: 10.1115/1.4023293 History: Received March 15, 2012; Revised December 12, 2012

There have been increasing demands and interests in stretchable sensors with the development of flexible or stretchable conductive materials. These sensors can be used for detecting large strain, 3D deformation, and a free-form shape. In this work, a stretchable conductive sensor has been developed using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and monofunctional acrylate monomers (cyclic trimethylolpropane formal acrylate and acrylate ester). The suggested sensors have been fabricated using a screw-driven microdispensing direct-write (DW) technology. To demonstrate the capabilities of the DW system, effects of dispensing parameters such as the feed rate and material flow rate on created line widths were investigated. Finally, a stretchable conductive sensor was fabricated using proper dispensing parameters, and an experiment for stretchability and resistance change was accomplished. The result showed that the sensor had a large strain range up to 90% with a linear resistance change and gauge factor ∼2.7. Based on the results, it is expected that the suggested DW stretchable sensor can be used in many application areas such as wearable electronics, tactile sensors, 3D structural electronics, etc.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the entire processes to fabricate stretchable sensors

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the resistance measurement

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Fig. 3

The effect of the applied voltage (flow rate) on the deposited line width

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Fig. 4

The effect of the translation speed of the stages on the deposited line width

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Fig. 5

Fabricated sensors: (a) conductive wires deposited on the polyurethane substrate; (b) folded sensor

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Fig. 6

Photos of the specimen for the resistance measurement while tensioning

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Fig. 7

Resistance changes according to the applied strain

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