Abstract Highly sensitive, wearable and durable strain sensors are vital to the development of health monitoring systems, smart robots and human machine interfaces. Herein a facile, cost-effective and scalable fabrication method is presented first for the development of stretchable strain sensors which are based on a composite film consisting of graphene platelets and silicon rubber. Through calculation by the tunnelling theory using experimental data, the composite film has tunable gauge factors 27.7–164.5. They can be used as electronic skin, a vibration sensor and a human machine interface controller. Then conventional strain sensors are reviewed for key parameters towards potential impact on new polymer/nanomaterial strain sensors. It concludes that there are no general benchmarks for conventional strain sensors utilized in industry. We suggest that stretchable strain sensors should be custom designed and developed to meet particular measurement requirements, in comparison with a generic aim of yielding a sensor with high degrees of stretchability, sensitivity, and linearity. Challenges are discussed, including reliability, calibration to be used as proper gauges, and soft data acquisition systems.
Biography Jun Ma received his PhD in 2002 from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He then conducted research as a visiting scholar and postdoc fellow at the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology, The University of Sydney. In 2007 Jun joined the University of South Australia as a lecturer and he is now an Associate Professor. His research focuses on the development of applied functional composites through processing polymers with a range of nanomaterials, aiming to engage with industry in the design, development, and manufacturing of advanced polymeric composite materials