A Directional Strain Sensor Based on Anisotropic Microhoneycomb Cellulose Nanofiber-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Aerogels Prepared by Unidirectional Freeze Drying

Cong Wang, Zheng Ze Pan, Wei Lv, Bilu Liu, Jie Wei, Xiaohui Lv, Yi Luo, Hirotomo Nishihara, Quan Hong Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aerogels are one of the most popular composite reinforcement materials because of their high porosity and their continuous and homogeneous network. Most aerogels are isotropic, thus leading to isotropic composites when they are used as fillers. This fundamentally limits their applications in areas where anisotropy is needed. Here, an anisotropic microhoneycomb cellulose nanofiber- (CellF)-carbon nanotube (CNT) aerogel (denoted MCCA) is reported that contains unidirectionally aligned penetrating microchannels, which is prepared by a unidirectional freeze-drying method, using the structure-directing function of the CellFs. Due to its anisotropic nature, MCCA-reinforced polydimethylsilexane (denoted MCCA/PDMS) shows distinct anisotropic behavior, with the electrical conductivity and Young's modulus along the direction of penetrating microchannels being approximately twice those in the orthogonal direction. MCCA/PDMS is used to make “directional” strain sensors with electrical resistance as the output signal. They demonstrate a 92% sensitivity difference between the microchannel direction and its orthogonal direction. This approach can be used to prepare anisotropic MCCA-based composites with other polymers for different applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1805363
JournalSmall
Volume15
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 5

Keywords

  • anisotropic aerogels
  • carbon nanotube
  • cellulose nanofiber
  • strain sensors
  • unidirectional freeze drying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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