Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 9, pp 7048–7061 | Cite as

A wearable strain sensor based on the ZnO/graphene nanoplatelets nanocomposite with large linear working range

  • Shibin Sun
  • Lin Guo
  • Xueting ChangEmail author
  • Yiqian Liu
  • Shicong Niu
  • Yanhua LeiEmail author
  • Tao Liu
  • Xiong Hu
Electronic materials


Flexible strain sensors are attracting more and more attentions in wearable devices and electronic skins. Currently, the fabrication of flexible strain sensor with features of high sensitivity and wide linear working range is still a great challenge. Herein, a stretchable and wearable strain sensor is fabricated with the ZnO nanoparticles (NPs)/graphene nanoplatelets nanocomposite (ZnO/GNP NC) as both the sensing element and reinforcement phase. The ZnO/GNP NC strain sensor exhibits fascinating performance, including high mechanical properties (fracture strength of 0.6 MPa and elongation of ~ 90%), large working range of 0–44%, high sensitivity (gauge factor of 8.8–12.8), and good reproducibility over 1700 cycles. Importantly, the ZnO/GNP NC strain sensor holds perfect linearity (R2 = 0.999) in the whole working range, which can be attributed to the coupling effect between the ZnO NPs and the GNP. The ZnO/GNP NC strain sensor can not only detect large human motions such as elbow rotation, wrist rotation, clenching fist, and waving badminton racket, but also monitor subtle human motions in real time, such as pulse, phonation, coughing, and swallowing. The wide linear working range of the ZnO/GNP NC strain sensor makes it a potential choice for the application of wearable devices.



We acknowledge the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Nos. 2016YFB0300700 and 2016YFB0300704), the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (No. 17ZR1440900), and the Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51602195, 51202142, and 51202144) for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

10853_2019_3354_MOESM1_ESM.docx (220 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 220 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Logistics EngineeringShanghai Maritime UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Institute of Marine Materials Science and Engineering, College of Ocean Science and EngineeringShanghai Maritime UniversityShanghaiChina

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