A novel flexible nanocomposite pressure sensor with a tensile strength of about 47 MPa is fabricated in this work. Nanolayers of titanium dioxide (titania nanolayers, TNL) synthesized by hydrothermal method are used to reinforce the polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) by simple solution mixing. A hybrid composite is prepared by incorporating the TNL (2.5 wt %) with reduced graphene oxide (rGO) (2.5 wt %) synthesized by improved graphene oxide synthesis to form a PVDF/rGO-TNL composite. A comparison between PVDF, PVDF/rGO (5 wt %), PVDF/TNL (5 wt %) and PVDF/rGO-TNL (total additives 5 wt %) samples are analyzed for their sensing, thermal and dielectric characteristics. The new shape of additives (with sharp morphology), good interaction and well distributed hybrid additives in the matrix increased the sensitivity by 333.46% at 5 kPa, 200.7% at 10.7 kPa and 246.7% at 17.6 kPa compared to the individual PVDF composite of TNL, confirming its possible application in fabricating low cost and light weight pressure sensing devices and electronic devices with reduced quantity of metal oxides. Increase in the β crystallinity percentage and removal of α phase for PVDF was detected for the hybrid composite and linked to the improvement in the mechanical properties. Tensile strength for the hybrid composite (46.91 MPa) was 115% higher than that of the neat polymer matrix. Improvement in the wettability and less roughness in the hybrid composites were observed, which can prevent fouling, a major disadvantage in many sensor applications.
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