A highly elastic, capacitive strain gauge based on percolating nanotube networks

Nano Lett. 2012 Apr 11;12(4):1821-5. doi: 10.1021/nl204052z. Epub 2012 Mar 21.


We present a highly elastic strain gauge based on capacitive sensing of parallel, carbon nanotube-based percolation electrodes separated by a dielectric elastomer. The fabrication, relying on vacuum filtration of single-walled carbon nanotubes and hydrophobic patterning of silicone, is both rapid and inexpensive. We demonstrate reliable, linear performance over thousands of cycles at up to 100% strain with less than 3% variability and the highest reported gauge factor for a device of this class (0.99). We further demonstrate use of this sensor in a robotics context to transduce joint angles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Electrodes
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Silicones / chemistry
  • Surface Properties
  • Vacuum


  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Silicones