pp 1–13 | Cite as

One-step process for direct laser writing carbonization of NH4H2PO4 treated cellulose paper and its use for facile fabrication of multifunctional force sensors with corrugated structures

  • Yanbo Yao
  • Xiaoshuang Duan
  • Muchuan Niu
  • Jiangjiang Luo
  • Rui Wang
  • Tao LiuEmail author
Original Research


It is highly desired to be able to readily and robustly fabricate carbon patterns on cellulose paper (CellP) with complicated 3D structures, which would allow for cost-effectively developing a variety of resilient and stable paper-based sensors. Upon a pretreatment of CellP with NH4H2PO4, herein, we present a one-step direct laser writing carbonization (DLWc) method capable of in situ creating electrically conductive carbon features on the NH4H2PO4 treated CellP. With assistance of infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry, the role of NH4H2PO4 in the pyrolysis/carbonization of cellulose paper to enhance the resultant carbon yield was investigated. The loadings of NH4H2PO4 in CellP and the laser processing conditions were studied for their effects on morphology/structure and electrical property of the carbon line features created by DLWc on the NH4H2PO4 treated CellP. Upon taking advantage of the unique mechanical characteristics of corrugated paper sheets, we further utilized the one-step DLWc process to fabricate disposable, lightweight, and low-cost paper-based sensors and demonstrated their use for sensing force, displacement, wind flow and finger-tapping position recognition. The one-step DLWc of CellP will lead a way towards large-scale, environmental-benign and cost-effective production of multifunctional paper-based sensors.

Graphic abstract


Direct laser writing carbonization Cellulose paper NH4H2PO4 treatment Corrugated structure Multifunctional force sensor 

List of symbols


Direct laser writing carbonization


Cellulose paper


Optical microscope


Scanning electron microscope


Thermogravimetric analyzer


Differential scanning calorimetry


Fourier transform infrared spectrometer


Dynamic mechanical analyzer


Linear laser energy density



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC51673140) and Startup funds provided by Soochow University (Q410900116). The support from State and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Novel Functional Polymeric Materials and the project funded by the Priority Academic Program Development (PAPD) of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions is also acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts to declare.

Supplementary material

10570_2019_2617_MOESM1_ESM.docx (759 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1307 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceSoochow UniversitySoochowPeople’s Republic of China

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