In this work, the working performance of Platinum (Pt), solvent-free nanoparticle (NP)-based strain sensors made on a flexible substrate has been studied. First, a new model has been developed in order to explain sensor behaviour under strain in a more effective manner than what has been previously reported. The proposed model also highlights the difference between sensors based on solvent-free and solvent-based NPs. As a second step, the ability of atomic layer deposition (ALD) developed Al2
(alumina) thin films to act as protective coatings against humidity while in adverse conditions (i.e., variations in relative humidity and repeated mechanical stress) has been evaluated. Two different alumina thicknesses (5 and 11 nm) have been tested and their effect on protection against humidity is studied by monitoring sensor resistance. Even in the case of adverse working conditions and for increased mechanical strain (up to 1.2%), it is found that an alumina layer of 11 nm provides sufficient sensor protection, while the proposed model remains valid. This certifies the appropriateness of the proposed strain-sensing technology for demanding applications, such as e-skin and pressure or flow sensing, as well as the possibility of developing a comprehensive computational tool for NP-based devices.
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