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Review

Review of Materials and Fabrication Methods for Flexible Nano and Micro-Scale Physical and Chemical Property Sensors

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I-Form, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, D04 V1W8 Dublin, Ireland
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EPSRC & SFI Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Advanced Metallic Systems, Sheffield S10 2JA, UK
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Advanced Processing Technology Research Centre, School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, Electronic Engineering, and Chemical Sciences, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, D09 NA55 Dublin 09, Ireland
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Oriel Sea Salt Ltd., Clogherhead, A92 V97C Drogheda, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mohamed M. Chehimi
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(18), 8563; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188563
Received: 16 August 2021 / Revised: 9 September 2021 / Accepted: 10 September 2021 / Published: 15 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Flexible Electronics toward Wearable Sensing)
The use of flexible sensors has tripled over the last decade due to the increased demand in various fields including health monitoring, food packaging, electronic skins and soft robotics. Flexible sensors have the ability to be bent and stretched during use and can still maintain their electrical and mechanical properties. This gives them an advantage over rigid sensors that lose their sensitivity when subject to bending. Advancements in 3D printing have enabled the development of tailored flexible sensors. Various additive manufacturing methods are being used to develop these sensors including inkjet printing, aerosol jet printing, fused deposition modelling, direct ink writing, selective laser melting and others. Hydrogels have gained much attention in the literature due to their self-healing and shape transforming. Self-healing enables the sensor to recover from damages such as cracks and cuts incurred during use, and this enables the sensor to have a longer operating life and stability. Various polymers are used as substrates on which the sensing material is placed. Polymers including polydimethylsiloxane, Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) and polyvinyl acetate are extensively used in flexible sensors. The most widely used nanomaterials in flexible sensors are carbon and silver due to their excellent electrical properties. This review gives an overview of various types of flexible sensors (including temperature, pressure and chemical sensors), paying particular attention to the application areas and the corresponding characteristics/properties of interest required for such. Current advances/trends in the field including 3D printing, novel nanomaterials and responsive polymers, and self-healable sensors and wearables will also be discussed in more detail. View Full-Text
Keywords: flexible sensors; additive manufacturing; 3D printing; self-healing; nanocomposites; advanced manufacturing flexible sensors; additive manufacturing; 3D printing; self-healing; nanocomposites; advanced manufacturing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nyabadza, A.; Vázquez, M.; Coyle, S.; Fitzpatrick, B.; Brabazon, D. Review of Materials and Fabrication Methods for Flexible Nano and Micro-Scale Physical and Chemical Property Sensors. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 8563. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188563

AMA Style

Nyabadza A, Vázquez M, Coyle S, Fitzpatrick B, Brabazon D. Review of Materials and Fabrication Methods for Flexible Nano and Micro-Scale Physical and Chemical Property Sensors. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(18):8563. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188563

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nyabadza, Anesu, Mercedes Vázquez, Shirley Coyle, Brian Fitzpatrick, and Dermot Brabazon. 2021. "Review of Materials and Fabrication Methods for Flexible Nano and Micro-Scale Physical and Chemical Property Sensors" Applied Sciences 11, no. 18: 8563. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188563

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