Highly stretchable and ultrathin nanopaper composites for epidermal strain sensors

Jingyao Sun, Yanan Zhao, Zhaogang Yang, Jingjing Shen, Eusebio Cabrera, Matthew J. Lertola, Willie Yang, Dan Zhang, Avi Benatar, Jose M. Castro, Daming Wu, L. James Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Multifunctional electronics are attracting great interest with the increasing demand and fast development of wearable electronic devices. Here, we describe an epidermal strain sensor based on an all-carbon conductive network made from multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) impregnated with poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) matrix through a vacuum filtration process. An ultrasonication treatment was performed to complete the penetration of PDMS resin in seconds. The entangled and overlapped MWCNT network largely enhances the electrical conductivity (1430 S m-1), uniformity (remaining stable on different layers), reliable sensing range (up to 80% strain), and cyclic stability of the strain sensor. The homogeneous dispersion of MWCNTs within the PDMS matrix leads to a strong interaction between the two phases and greatly improves the mechanical stability (ca. 160% strain at fracture). The flexible, reversible and ultrathin (<100 μm) film can be directly attached on human skin as epidermal strain sensors for high accuracy and real-time human motion detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number355304
Issue number35
StatePublished - Jun 27 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • carbon nanotube nanopaper
  • high stretchability
  • poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS)
  • ultrasonication
  • ultrathin strain sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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