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An efficient highly flexible strain sensor: Enhanced electrical conductivity, piezoresistivity and flexibility of a strongly piezoresistive composite based on conductive carbon black and an ionic liquid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-338
Number of pages9
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Flexible strain sensors based on conductive carbon black (CB) filled styrene-butadiene rubber were developed. The use of ionic liquid (IL) allows improvement of the filler dispersion, rubber-filler interaction and flexibility of the sample that finally enhances the piezoresistive performance and the sensibility. At filler loading close to the percolation threshold, the electrical conductivity increases by two orders of magnitude when the IL/CB ratio is increased from 0 to 1.5. In contrast to the use of normal plasticisers, the loss in piezoresistivity at low strains is overcome. The sensitivity at 2.5% strain using an IL/CB ratio of 1.5 is about 600% higher compared with the sample without IL. Also, the response consistency becomes better with higher IL/CB ratios. Moreover, the use of IL allows the composites to be deformed more easily while still providing high responsivity to small strains. This enables the construction of better flexible strain sensors with long-term stability.


  • A. Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs), B. Electrical properties, B. Mechanical properties, Piezoresistivity

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland