Stretchable and washable strain sensor based on cracking structure for human motion monitoring
Stretchable and wearable strain sensors have been intensively studied in recent years for applications in human motion monitoring. However, achieving a high-performance strain sensor with high stretchability, ultra-sensitivity, and functionality, such as tunable sensing ranges and sensitivity to various stimuli, has not yet been reported, even though such sensors have great importance for the future applications of wearable electronics. Herein, a novel and versatile strain sensor based on a cracking (silver ink patterned silicone elastomer)-(silver plated nylon structure) (Ag-DS/CF) has been designed and fabricated. The unique structure combined precisely shaped stretchable conductive fabrics and wrinkled Ag-ink pattern to achieve an excellent electrical performance. The Ag-DS/CF could be used to detect both large and subtle human motions and activities, pressure changes, and physical vibrations by achieving high stretchability up to 75%, ultrahigh sensitivity (gauge factor >104–106), tunable sensing ranges (from 7 to 75%). Excellent durability was demonstrated for human motion monitoring with machine washability. The extremely versatile Ag-DS/CF showed outstanding potential for the future of wearable electronics in real-time monitoring of human health, sports performance, etc.