Parallel Microcracks-based Ultrasensitive and Highly Stretchable Strain Sensors

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Mar 2;8(8):5618-26. doi: 10.1021/acsami.5b12588. Epub 2016 Feb 16.


There is an increasing demand for flexible, skin-attachable, and wearable strain sensors due to their various potential applications. However, achieving strain sensors with both high sensitivity and high stretchability is still a grand challenge. Here, we propose highly sensitive and stretchable strain sensors based on the reversible microcrack formation in composite thin films. Controllable parallel microcracks are generated in graphite thin films coated on elastomer films. Sensors made of graphite thin films with short microcracks possess high gauge factors (maximum value of 522.6) and stretchability (ε ≥ 50%), whereas sensors with long microcracks show ultrahigh sensitivity (maximum value of 11,344) with limited stretchability (ε ≤ 50%). We demonstrate the high performance strain sensing of our sensors in both small and large strain sensing applications such as human physiological activity recognition, human body large motion capturing, vibration detection, pressure sensing, and soft robotics.

Keywords: human motion detection; parallel microcracks; skin-attachable sensors; strain sensors; wearable sensors.

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Elastomers / chemistry
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Motion*
  • Nanotechnology*


  • Elastomers