Three-dimensional flexible porous conductors have significantly advanced wearable sensors and stretchable devices because of their specific high surface area. Dip coating of porous polymers with graphene is a facile, low cost, and scalable approach to integrate conductive layers with the flexible polymer substrate platforms; however, the products often suffer from nanoparticle delamination and overtime decay. Here, a fabrication scheme based on accessible methods and safe materials is introduced to surface-dope porous silicone sensors with graphene nanoplatelets. The sensors are internally shaped with ordered, interconnected, and tortuous internal geometries (i.e., triply periodic minimal surfaces) using fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D-printed sacrificial molds. The molds were dip coated to transfer-embed graphene onto the silicone rubber (SR) surface. The presented procedure exhibited a stable coating on the porous silicone samples with long-term electrical resistance durability over ∼12 months period and high resistance against harsh conditions (exposure to organic solvents). Besides, the sensors retained conductivity upon severe compressive deformations (over 75% compressive strain) with high strain-recoverability and behaved robustly in response to cyclic deformations (over 400 cycles), temperature, and humidity. The sensors exhibited a gauge factor as high as 10 within the compressive strain range of 2-10%. Given the tunable sensitivity, the engineered biocompatible and flexible devices captured movements as rigorous as walking and running to the small deformations resulted by human pulse.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)