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A strain sensor based on an aligned carbon particle string in a UV-cured polymer matrix

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5 Author(s)
Høyer, H. ; Physics Department, Institute for Energy Technology, NO-2027 Kjeller, Norway ; Knaapila, M. ; Kjelstrup-Hansen, J. ; Liu, X.
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We demonstrate micro-mechanical strain sensors by aligning carbon black particles into single wirelike strings in a polymer matrix using an alternating electric field (dielectrophoresis) when the particle fraction is 0.1 vol. %. The strings are stabilized by UV-curing the polymer matrix and characterized electrically and electromechanically. Particle alignment makes the material conductive, and the stretching of such strings in polymer matrices gives a reversible change in resistivity. A gauge factor of about 150 is demonstrated. Nonaligned films containing 12 vol. % of carbon particles in the same polymer are conductive but not sensitive to similar stretching.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:99 ,  Issue: 21 )