Soft strain sensors are needed for a variety of applications including human motion and health monitoring, soft robotics, and human/machine interactions. Capacitive-type strain sensors are excellent candidates for practical applications due to their great linearity and low hysteresis; however, a big limitation of this sensor is its inherent property of low sensitivity when it comes to detecting various levels of applied strain. This limitation is due to the structural properties of the parallel plate capacitor structure during applied stretching operations. According to this model, at best the maximum gauge factor (sensitivity) that can be achieved is 1. Here, we report the highest gauge factor ever achieved in capacitive-type strain sensors utilizing an ultrathin wrinkled gold film electrode. Our strain sensor achieved a gauge factor slightly above 3 and exhibited high linearity with negligible hysteresis over a maximum applied strain of 140%. We further demonstrated this highly sensitive strain sensor in a wearable application. This work opens up the possibility of engineering even higher sensitivity in capacitive-type strain sensors for practical and reliable wearable applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 化学 (全般)