Advanced carbon materials for flexible and wearable sensors

Muqiang Jian, Chunya Wang, Qi Wang, Huimin Wang, Kailun Xia, Zhe Yin, Mingchao Zhang, Xiaoping Liang, Yingying Zhang
2017 Science China Materials  
Flexible and wearable sensors have drawn extensive concern due to their wide potential applications in wearable electronics and intelligent robots. Flexible sensors with high sensitivity, good flexibility, and excellent stability are highly desirable for monitoring human biomedical signals, movements and the environment. The active materials and the device structures are the keys to achieve high performance. Carbon nanomaterials, including carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene, carbon black and
more » ... on nanofibers, are one of the most commonly used active materials for the fabrication of high-performance flexible sensors due to their superior properties. Especially, CNTs and graphene can be assembled into various multi-scaled macroscopic structures, including one dimensional fibers, two dimensional films and three dimensional architectures, endowing the facile design of flexible sensors for wide practical applications. In addition, the hybrid structured carbon materials derived from natural bio-materials also showed a bright prospect for applications in flexible sensors. This review provides a comprehensive presentation of flexible and wearable sensors based on the above various carbon materials. Following a brief introduction of flexible sensors and carbon materials, the fundamentals of typical flexible sensors, such as strain sensors, pressure sensors, temperature sensors and humidity sensors, are presented. Then, the latest progress of flexible sensors based on carbon materials, including the fabrication processes, performance and applications, are summarized. Finally, the remaining major challenges of carbon-based flexible electronics are discussed and the future research directions are proposed. Figure 1 Macroscopic assemblies of carbon materials for flexible sensors and their applications. The insets are reprinted from the following sources. 1D fibers: reprinted with permission from Ref. [74],
doi:10.1007/s40843-017-9077-x fatcat:wrvfiq3xdfg2dajhdvyozdoakq