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Sensors 2014, 14(6), 9889-9899; doi:10.3390/s140609889
Article

Sensitivity of Pressure Sensors Enhanced by Doping Silver Nanowires

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Received: 19 February 2014 / Revised: 30 April 2014 / Accepted: 19 May 2014 / Published: 4 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Micro Sensors and Actuators)
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Abstract

We have developed a highly sensitive flexible pressure sensor based on a piezopolymer and silver nanowires (AgNWs) composite. The composite nanofiber webs are made by electrospinning mixed solutions of poly(inylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and Ag NWs in a cosolvent mixture of dimethyl formamide and acetone. The diameter of the fibers ranges from 200 nm to 500 nm, as demonstrated by SEM images. FTIR and XRD results reveal that doping Ag NWs into PVDF greatly enhances the content of β phase in PVDF. This β phase increase can be attributed to interactions between the Ag NWs and the PVDF matrix, which forces the polymer chains to be embedded into the β phase crystalline. The sensitivity of the pressure sensors agrees well with the FTIR and XRD characteristics. In our experiments, the measured sensitivity reached up to 30 pC/N for the nanofiber webs containing 1.5 wt% Ag NWs, which is close to that of poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) [P(VDF-TrFE), (77/23)]. This study may provide a new method of fabricating high performance flexible sensors at relatively low cost compared with sensors based on [P(VDF-TrFE), (77/23)].
Keywords: PVDF; electrospun; pressure sensor; piezoelectricity; β phase; flexible; high performance PVDF; electrospun; pressure sensor; piezoelectricity; β phase; flexible; high performance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Li, B.; Xu, C.; Zheng, J.; Xu, C. Sensitivity of Pressure Sensors Enhanced by Doping Silver Nanowires. Sensors 2014, 14, 9889-9899.

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