Highly sensitive and flexible strain sensor based on AuNPs/CNTs’ synergic conductive network

  • Dong Zhao
  • Qiang Zhang
  • Yan Liu
  • Yixia Zhang
  • Xing Guo
  • Zhongyun Yuan
  • Wendong Zhang
  • Riguang Zhang
  • John W. Lian
  • Shengbo SangEmail author
Original Article


Strain sensor is widely desired for flexible and wearable electronic devices, such as human motion capturing and electronic skin. In strain sensing, it is a challenge to ensure that the strain sensor based on CNTs–PDMS has both high-performance flexibility and sensitivity. Here, this study reports a flexible strain sensor based on the AuNPs/CNTs/PDMS composite films fabricated by in-situ reduction, which has high sensitivity and wide linear strain range. DFT revealed that the AuNPs effectively improved the conductivity of the composite films, which show high consistency with electrical test. The AuNPs synergistically improved the sensitivity and flexibility of strain sensors with CNTs in PDMS. The flexible strain sensors with 3 wt% CNTs and 16 h AuNPs’ reduction time have the higher gage factor of 366.7 at a linear strain ranging from 0 to 15%. We demonstrated the applicability of our high-performance strain sensors by testing the tiny motion sensing caused by wrist bending, finger bending, wrist raising, neck rotation, and facial muscle movement. The AuNPs/CNTs/PDMS composite film with high sensitivity, flexible, and stability provides a new elastomer nanocomposite as strain sensor for strain-sensing applications.


AuNPs/CNTs/PDMS In-situ reduction method Flexible strain sensor High sensitivity Human motion detection 



The authors are grateful for the support by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos. 51622507, 61471255, 61703298, 61474079, and 51705354), Basic Research Program of Shanxi for Youths (nos. 201701D221110 and 2015021092), Excellent Talents Technology Innovation Program of Shanxi Province of China (no. 201605D211023), and 863 project (no. 2015AA042601).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13204_2019_959_MOESM1_ESM.doc (3.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 3832 KB)


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dong Zhao
    • 1
  • Qiang Zhang
    • 1
  • Yan Liu
    • 1
  • Yixia Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xing Guo
    • 1
  • Zhongyun Yuan
    • 1
  • Wendong Zhang
    • 1
  • Riguang Zhang
    • 3
  • John W. Lian
    • 4
  • Shengbo Sang
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.MicroNano System Research Center, Key Lab of Advanced Transducers and Intelligent Control System of the Ministry of Education and College of Information and ComputerTaiyuan University of TechnologyTaiyuanChina
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Engineering, Shanxi Key Laboratory of Material Strength and Structural Impact, College of MechanicsTaiyuan University of TechnologyTaiyuanChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Coal Science and Technology of Ministry of Education and Shanxi ProvinceTaiyuan University of TechnologyTaiyuanChina
  4. 4.Department of PathologyBrigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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