A wearable and highly sensitive pressure sensor with ultrathin gold nanowires

Nat Commun. 2014;5:3132. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4132.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't