Ultrathin gold nanowires are mechanically flexible yet robust, which are novel building blocks with potential applications in future wearable optoelectronic devices. Here we report an efficient, low-cost fabrication strategy to construct a highly sensitive, flexible pressure sensor by sandwiching ultrathin gold nanowire-impregnated tissue paper between two thin polydimethylsiloxane sheets. The entire device fabrication process is scalable, enabling facile large-area integration and patterning for mapping spatial pressure distribution. Our gold nanowires-based pressure sensors can be operated at a battery voltage of 1.5 V with low energy consumption (<30 μW), and are able to detect pressing forces as low as 13 Pa with fast response time (<17 ms), high sensitivity (>1.14 kPa-1) and high stability (>50,000 loading-unloading cycles). In addition, our sensor can resolve pressing, bending, torsional forces and acoustic vibrations. The superior sensing properties in conjunction with mechanical flexibility and robustness enabled real-time monitoring of blood pulses as well as detection of small vibration forces from music.
Gong, Shu, Willem Schwalb, Yongwei Wang, Yi Chen, Yue Tang, Jye Si, Bijan Shirinzadeh, Wenlong Cheng