Stretchable electrical sensors based on CNT/polymer composites.
Fazi L., Andreani C., D'Ottavi C., Licoccia S., Morales P., Preziosi E., Prioriello A., Romanelli G., Scacco V., Senesi R.
There is an increasing interest in the fabrication of stretchable devices exhibiting peculiar electro-mechanical properties and their use as sensors with multiple applications ranging from medical to energy-storage devices. The use of composites is widely exploited because it allows to combine in a single material the properties of the single components. By matching the conductivity and robustness of carbon nanotubes (CNT) with the viscoelastic properties of polymer films, we have developed CNT/polymer composites that represent a promising way to obtain a low-cost, conductive, and elastic films. Since each application requires specific properties, tailoring the composite material to the requirements in terms of conductivity, stretchability, and durability is fundamental. By combining morphological, mechanical, and electrical characterization, we identified the best couplings between commercial polymeric substrates ($e.g.$, polyethylene, natural rubber) and CNT to be used in specific devices ($e.g.$, stress-strain sensors, electrodes) for biomedical or engineering applications. The Regione Lazio is greatly acknowledged for funding the research through the project DIME, n A0375-2020-36646 POR FESR LAZIO 2014-2020 PROGETTI DI GRUPPI DI RICERCA 2020 -- Codice POR A0375E0084. Authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche -- within CNR-STFC Grant Agreement [No. 2014-2020 (N 3420)] concerning collaboration in scientific research at the ISIS (UK) of STFC -- and of the JRU ISIS@MACH ITALIA, Research Infrastructure hub of ISIS (UK) -- MUR official registry U. 0008642.28-05-2020.