Porous PDMS/CNFS composites for stretchable strain sensors

Shuying Wu, Raj B. Ladani, Anil R. Ravindran, Adrian P. Mouritz, Chun H. Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Strain sensors with flexible and stretchable characteristics have shown great potential applications in wearable devices for artificial e-skins and health monitoring/diagnosis. However, there remain some major challenges to develop sensors capable of both high sensitivity and stretchability by using a simple, cost-effective, and scalable method. In this paper, we report a new and facile method to fabricate porous polydimethylsiloxane/carbon nanofiber (p-PDMS/CNFs) composites using sugar particles coated with carbon nanofibers as the templates. Three-dimensional porous conductive PDMS nanocomposites are prepared by first infusing the templates with PDMS, curing the PDMS, and then removing sugar. The CNFs originally coated on the surfaces of sugar particles are embedded in PDMS pore walls, forming 3D conductive networks, resulting in high electrical conductivity (0.033 S/m). The resulting three-dimensional porous structure demonstrates greatly improved stretchability and compressibility compared with solid PDMS. The electrical resistance of the porous composites increases upon stretching but decreases under compression. Moreover, it is found that the resultant nanocomposites with the CNFs embedded in pore walls show excellent durability under repeated loading. The high sensitivity and reliable sensing performance endow these highly stretchable nanocomposites with a great potential as flexible sensors for wearable electronics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ICCM21, Xi'an, August 20-25th 2017
PublisherInternational Committee on Composite Materials (ICCM)
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Composite Materials (21st : 2017) - Xi'an, China
Duration: 20 Aug 201725 Aug 2017


ConferenceInternational Conference on Composite Materials (21st : 2017)
Abbreviated titleICCM21


  • Porous composites
  • Stretchable
  • Strain sensor
  • Piezoresistivity


Dive into the research topics of 'Porous PDMS/CNFS composites for stretchable strain sensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this