A Sandwiched/Cracked Flexible Film for Multi-Thermal Monitoring and Switching Devices

Yanlong Tai, Tao Chen, Gilles Lubineau

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12 Scopus citations


Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based flexible films have substantiated advantages in various sensing applications. Here, we demonstrate the highly sensitive and programmable thermal-sensing capability (thermal index, B, up to 126 × 103 K) of flexible films with tunable sandwiched microstructures (PDMS/cracked single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) film/PDMS) when a thermal stimulus is applied. We found that this excellent performance results from the following features of the film's structural and material design: (1) the sandwiched structure allows the film to switch from a three-dimensional to a two-dimensional in-plane deformation and (2) the stiffness of the SWCNT film is decreased by introducing microcracks that make deformation easy and that promote the macroscopic piezoresistive behavior of SWCNT crack islands and the microscopic piezoresistive behavior of SWCNT bundles. The PDMS layer is characterized by a high coefficient of thermal expansion (α = 310 × 10-6 K-1) and low stiffness (∼2 MPa) that allow for greater flexibility and higher temperature sensitivity. We determined the efficacy of our sandwiched, cracked, flexible films in monitoring and switching flexible devices when subjected to various stimuli, including thermal conduction, thermal radiation, and light radiation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32184-32191
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 8 2017

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