Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 December 2022) | Viewed by 39100

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Guest Editor
BCMaterials, Basque Center for Materials, Applications and Nanostructures, UPV/EHU Science Park, 48940 Leioa, Spain
Interests: smart materials; 3D printing; polymer-based composites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Center of Physics, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: polymer composites; additive manufacturing; functional materials; sensors and actuators; energy harvesting; stretchable sensors; natural polymers; prototypes devices
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart materials and sensor systems have attracted tremendous attention in recent years due to promising potential applications in wearable electronics, health monitoring, human motion detection, human–machine interaction, and soft robotics. Significant progress in the development of high-performance sensing devices has been achieved in recent years, particularly in terms of sensing components, sensor design parameters, morphology design, and processing techniques. One of the most critical aspects is the choice of suitable materials that meet the requirements of specific transduction mechanisms, such as piezoresistive, piezoelectric, and pyroelectric, amongst others. Thus, polymer-based materials have been widely implemented due to several advantages, such as the possible combinations with functional fillers, low cost, and compatibility with several additive manufacturing techniques. Despite recent developments, highly effective polymer-based materials with high sensitivity and resolution, and that incorporate multifunctional and self-sensing capabilities, need to be explored.

Dr. Carmen Rial Tubio
Dr. Pedro Costa
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • sensor fabrication
  • polymer composites
  • sensing mechanism
  • flexible and stretchable sensors
  • natural polymer
  • synthetic polymer

Published Papers (19 papers)

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11 pages, 2071 KiB  
Communication
PEDOT: PSS/AuNPs-Based Composite as Voltammetric Sensor for the Detection of Pirimicarb
by Andrei E. Deller, Bruna M. Hryniewicz, Camila Pesqueira, Rayta Paim Horta, Bruno José Gonçalves da Silva, Saddam Weheabby, Ammar Al-Hamry, Olfa Kanoun and Marcio Vidotti
Polymers 2023, 15(3), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15030739 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1695
Abstract
An electrochemical sensor for the pesticide Pirimicarb (PMC) has been developed. A screen-printed electrode (SPCE) was used and modified with the conducting polymer poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to enhance electrochemical proprieties. Electrode characterizations were performed using scattering electron microscopy (SEM) [...] Read more.
An electrochemical sensor for the pesticide Pirimicarb (PMC) has been developed. A screen-printed electrode (SPCE) was used and modified with the conducting polymer poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to enhance electrochemical proprieties. Electrode characterizations were performed using scattering electron microscopy (SEM) and cyclic voltammetry (CV). With the SPCE/PEDOT:PSS/AuNPs modified electrode, a new peak at 1.0 V appeared in the presence of PMC related to the PMC oxidation. To elucidate the mechanism of PMC oxidation, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), where two major peaks were identified, evidencing that the device can both detect and degrade PMC by an electro-oxidation process. Exploring this peak signal, it was possible the sensor development, performing detection from 93.81–750 µmol L−1, limits of quantification (LOQ) and detection (LOD) of 93.91 µmol L−1 and 28.34 µmol L−1, respectively. Thus, it was possible to study and optimization of PMC degradation, moreover, to perform detection at low concentrations and with good selectivity against different interferents using a low-cost printed electrode based on graphite modified with conductive polymer and AuNPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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19 pages, 3707 KiB  
Article
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene-Based Composites with Permalloy with Tailored Magnetic Response
by Karla J. Merazzo, Ander García Díez, Carmen R. Tubio, Juan Carlos Manchado, Ramón Malet, Marc Pérez, Pedro Costa and Senentxu Lanceros-Mendez
Polymers 2023, 15(3), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15030626 - 25 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1993
Abstract
This work reports on tailoring the magnetic properties of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)-based composites for their application in magnetoactive systems, such as magnetic sensors and actuators. The magnetic properties of the composites are provided by the inclusion of varying permalloy (Py—Ni75Fe [...] Read more.
This work reports on tailoring the magnetic properties of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)-based composites for their application in magnetoactive systems, such as magnetic sensors and actuators. The magnetic properties of the composites are provided by the inclusion of varying permalloy (Py—Ni75Fe20Mo5) nanoparticle content within the ABS matrix. Composites with Py nanoparticle content up to 80 wt% were prepared and their morphological, mechanical, thermal, dielectric and magnetic properties were evaluated. It was found that ABS shows the capability to include high loads of the filler without negatively influencing its thermal and mechanical properties. In fact, the thermal properties of the ABS matrix are basically unaltered with the inclusion of the Py nanoparticles, with the glass transition temperatures of pristine ABS and its composites remaining around 105 °C. The mechanical properties of the composites depend on filler content, with the Young’s modulus ranging from 1.16 GPa for the pristine ABS up to 1.98 GPa for the sample with 60 wt% filler content. Regarding the magnetic properties, the saturation magnetization of the composites increased linearly with increasing Py content up to a value of 50.9 emu/g for the samples with 80 wt% of Py content. A numerical model has been developed to support the findings about the magnetic behavior of the NP within the ABS. Overall, the slight improvement in the mechanical properties and the magnetic properties provides the ABS composites new possibilities for applications in magnetoactive systems, including magnetic sensors, actuators and magnetic field shielding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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17 pages, 5134 KiB  
Article
Luminescent Polymer Composites for Optical Fiber Sensors
by Rodolfo A. Carrillo-Betancourt, A. Darío López-Camero and Juan Hernández-Cordero
Polymers 2023, 15(3), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15030505 - 18 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1603
Abstract
Optical fiber sensors incorporating luminescent materials are useful for detecting physical parameters and biochemical species. Fluorescent materials integrated on the tips of optical fibers, for example, provide a means to perform fluorescence thermometry while monitoring the intensity or the spectral variations of the [...] Read more.
Optical fiber sensors incorporating luminescent materials are useful for detecting physical parameters and biochemical species. Fluorescent materials integrated on the tips of optical fibers, for example, provide a means to perform fluorescence thermometry while monitoring the intensity or the spectral variations of the fluorescence signal. Similarly, certain molecules can be tracked by monitoring their characteristic emission in the UV wavelength range. A key element for these sensing approaches is the luminescent composite, which may be obtained upon allocating luminescent nanomaterials in glass or polymer hosts. In this work, we explore the fluorescence features of two composites incorporating lanthanide-doped fluorescent powders using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) as a host. The composites are obtained by a simple mixing procedure and can be subsequently deposited onto the end faces of optical fibers via dip coating or molding. Whereas one of the composites has shown to be useful for the fabrication of fiber optic temperature sensors, the other shows promising result for detection of UV radiation. The performance of both composites is first evaluated for the fabrication of membranes by examining features such as fluorescent stability. We further explore the influence of parameters such as particle concentration and density on the fluorescence features of the polymer blends. Finally, we demonstrate the incorporation of these PDMS fluorescent composites onto optical fibers and evaluate their sensing capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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21 pages, 7699 KiB  
Article
Electropolymerized 4-Aminobenzoic Acid Based Voltammetric Sensor for the Simultaneous Determination of Food Azo Dyes
by Guzel Ziyatdinova, Maria Titova and Rustam Davletshin
Polymers 2022, 14(24), 5429; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14245429 - 11 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
Electrochemical sensors with polymeric films as a sensitive layer are of high interest in current electroanalysis. A voltammetric sensor based on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and electropolymerized 4-aminobenzoic acid (4-ABA) has been developed for the simultaneous determination of synthetic food azo dyes (sunset [...] Read more.
Electrochemical sensors with polymeric films as a sensitive layer are of high interest in current electroanalysis. A voltammetric sensor based on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and electropolymerized 4-aminobenzoic acid (4-ABA) has been developed for the simultaneous determination of synthetic food azo dyes (sunset yellow FCF and tartrazine). Based on the voltammetric response of the dyes’ mixture, the optimal conditions of electropolymerization have been found to be 30-fold potential scanning between −0.3 and 1.5 V, at 100 mV s−1 in the 100 µmol L−1 monomer solution in phosphate buffer pH 7.0. The poly (4-ABA)-based electrode shows a 10.5-fold increase in its effective surface area and a 17.2-fold lower electron transfer resistance compared to the glassy carbon electrode (GCE). The sensor gives a sensitive and selective response to sunset yellow FCF and tartrazine, with the peak potential separation of 232 mV in phosphate buffer pH 4.8. The electrooxidation parameters of dyes have been calculated. Simultaneous quantification is possible in the dynamic ranges of 0.010–0.75 and 0.75–5.0 µmol L−1 for both dyes, with detection limits of 2.3 and 3.0 nmol L−1 for sunset yellow FCF and tartrazine, respectively. The sensor has been tested on orange-flavored drinks and validated with chromatography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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10 pages, 2315 KiB  
Article
Facile Fabrication of a Bio-Inspired Leaf Vein-Based Ultra-Sensitive Humidity Sensor with a Hygroscopic Polymer
by Pin-Hsuan Li, Govindasamy Madhaiyan, Ying-Yi Shin, Hsu-Yang Tsai, Hsin-Fei Meng, Sheng-Fu Horng and Hsiao-Wen Zan
Polymers 2022, 14(22), 5030; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14225030 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1882
Abstract
Bio-inspired materials have received significant interest in the development of flexible electronics due to their natural grid structures, especially natural leaf vein networks. In this work, a bio-inspired leaf vein-based flexible humidity sensor is demonstrated. The proposed sensor is composed of a leaf/Al/glycerin/Ag [...] Read more.
Bio-inspired materials have received significant interest in the development of flexible electronics due to their natural grid structures, especially natural leaf vein networks. In this work, a bio-inspired leaf vein-based flexible humidity sensor is demonstrated. The proposed sensor is composed of a leaf/Al/glycerin/Ag paste. The Al-deposited leaf vein networks are used as a bottom electrode with a resistance of around 100 Ω. The humidity sensor responds well to relative humidity (RH) levels ranging from 15% to 70% at room temperature. The fabricated humidity sensor exhibits an ultra-sensitive response to different humidity conditions due to the biodegradable insulating hygroscopic polymer (glycerin), specifically the ionic conductivity reaction. To further verify the presence of ionic conduction, the device performance is tested by doping NaCl salt into the hygroscopic polymer sensing layer. In addition, both the repeatability and flexibility of the sensor are tested under different bending angles (0°, 90°, 180°, and 360°). The bioinspired ultrasensitive humidity sensor with a biocompatible and biodegradable sensing layer holds great potential, especially for health care applications (e.g., respiratory monitoring) without causing any body harm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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11 pages, 4115 KiB  
Article
A Flexible Piezoelectric Device for Frequency Sensing from PVDF/SWCNT Composite Fibers
by Sejin Choi, Jihwan Lim, Hansol Park and Han Seong Kim
Polymers 2022, 14(21), 4773; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14214773 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2121
Abstract
Polymer piezoelectric devices have been widely studied as sensors, energy harvesters, and generators with flexible and simple processes. Flexible piezoelectric devices are sensitive to external stimuli and are attracting attention because of their potential and usefulness as acoustic sensors. In this regard, the [...] Read more.
Polymer piezoelectric devices have been widely studied as sensors, energy harvesters, and generators with flexible and simple processes. Flexible piezoelectric devices are sensitive to external stimuli and are attracting attention because of their potential and usefulness as acoustic sensors. In this regard, the frequency sensing of sound must be studied to use flexible piezoelectric devices as sensors. In this study, a flexible piezoelectric device composed of a polymer and an electrode was successfully fabricated. Polyvinylidene fluoride, the active layer of the piezoelectric device, was prepared by electrospinning, and electrodes were formed by dip−coating in a prepared single−walled carbon nanotube dispersion. The output voltage of the external sound was matched with the input frequency through a fast Fourier transform, and frequency matching was successfully performed, even with mechanical stimulation. In a high−frequency test, the piezoelectric effect and frequency domain peak started to decrease sharply at 300 Hz, and the limit of the piezoelectric effect and sensing was observed from 800 Hz. The results of this study suggest a method for developing flexible piezoelectric-fiber frequency sensors based on piezoelectric devices for acoustic sensor systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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11 pages, 3072 KiB  
Article
Soft Conductive Hydrogel-Based Electronic Skin for Robot Finger Grasping Manipulation
by Xiao Cheng, Fan Zhang and Wentao Dong
Polymers 2022, 14(19), 3930; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14193930 - 20 Sep 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1890
Abstract
Electronic skin with human-like sensory capabilities has been widely applied to artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering, and the prosthetic hand for expanding the sensing ability of robots. Robotic electronic skin (RES) based on conductive hydrogel is developed to collect strain and pressure data for [...] Read more.
Electronic skin with human-like sensory capabilities has been widely applied to artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering, and the prosthetic hand for expanding the sensing ability of robots. Robotic electronic skin (RES) based on conductive hydrogel is developed to collect strain and pressure data for improving the grasping capability of the robot finger. RES is fabricated and assembled by the soft functional materials through a sol–gel process for guaranteeing the overall softness. The strain sensor based on piezoresistive hydrogel (gauge factor ~9.98) is integrated onto the back surface of the robot finger to collect the bending angle of the robot finger. The capacitive pressure sensor based on a hydrogel electrode (sensitivity: 0.105 kPa−1 below 3.61 kPa, and 0.0327 kPa−1 in the range from 4.12 to 15 kPa.) is adhered onto the fingertip to collect the pressure data when touching the objects. A robot-finger-compatible RES with strain and pressure sensing function is designed for finger gesture detection and grasping manipulation. The negative force feedback control framework is built to improve grasping manipulation of the robot finger with RES, which would provide a self-adaptive control method to determine whether the objects are grasped successfully or not. Robot fingers integrated with soft sensors would promote the development of sensing and grasping abilities of the robot finger and interaction with human beings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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17 pages, 53254 KiB  
Article
Polyetherimide-Reinforced Smart Inlays for Bondline Surveillance in Composites
by Chresten von der Heide, Julian Steinmetz, Oliver Völkerink, Patrick Makiela, Christian Hühne, Michael Sinapius and Andreas Dietzel
Polymers 2022, 14(18), 3816; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14183816 - 13 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1497
Abstract
An integrable sensor inlay for monitoring crack initiation and growth inside bondlines of structural carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) components is presented. The sensing structures are sandwiched between crack-stopping poly(vinyliden fluoride) (PVDF) and a thin reinforcing polyetherimide (PEI) layer. Good adhesion at all interfaces [...] Read more.
An integrable sensor inlay for monitoring crack initiation and growth inside bondlines of structural carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) components is presented. The sensing structures are sandwiched between crack-stopping poly(vinyliden fluoride) (PVDF) and a thin reinforcing polyetherimide (PEI) layer. Good adhesion at all interfaces of the sensor system and to the CFRP material is crucial, as weak bonds can counteract the desired crack-stopping functionality. At the same time, the chosen reinforcing layer must withstand high strains, safely support the metallic measuring grids, and possess outstanding fatigue strength. We show that this robust sensor system, which measures the strain at two successive fronts inside the bondline, allows to recognize cracks in the proximity of the inlay regardless of the mechanical loads. Feasibility is demonstrated by static load tests as well as cyclic long-term fatigue testing for up to 1,000,000 cycles. In addition to pure crack detection, crack distance estimation based on sensor signals is illustrated. The inlay integration process is developed with respect to industrial applicability. Thus, implementation of the proposed system will allow the potential of lightweight CFRP constructions to be better exploited by expanding the possibilities of structural adhesive bonding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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13 pages, 3875 KiB  
Article
Fiber-Reinforced Polyester Composites with Photoluminescence Sensing Capabilities for UV Degradation Monitoring
by Carmen R. Tubio, Rubén Seoane-Rivero, Santiago Neira, Vanesa Benito, Koldo Gondra Zubieta and Senentxu Lanceros-Mendez
Polymers 2022, 14(17), 3666; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14173666 - 03 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
The wide application of fiber-reinforced polymer composite (FRPC) materials has given rise to the problem of their durability and performance over time. These problems are largely associated with their environmental conditions and service procedures, including ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. Here, we propose the production [...] Read more.
The wide application of fiber-reinforced polymer composite (FRPC) materials has given rise to the problem of their durability and performance over time. These problems are largely associated with their environmental conditions and service procedures, including ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. Here, we propose the production of polyester-based composites with different contents of synthesized Y3Al5O12:Ce3+,Ga (YAG:Ce,Ga) particles to provide sensing abilities towards material degradation. In this regard, the composites were subjected to UV radiation exposure, and its influence on the morphological, mechanical, and optical properties of the materials was investigated. Our findings reveal the self-sensing capabilities of the developed FRPC. The results indicate the potential of the system for the development of highly effective coatings allowing to detect and monitor UV degradation in composite materials for demanding applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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8 pages, 2002 KiB  
Communication
Heavy Metal Ions Trigger a Fluorescent Quenching in DNA–Organic Semiconductor Hybrid Assemblies
by Xianyang Li, Yuhui Feng, Tao Yi, Yan Piao, Dong Hyuk Park, Longzhen Cui and Chunzhi Cui
Polymers 2022, 14(17), 3591; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14173591 - 31 Aug 2022
Viewed by 2162
Abstract
The significance of DNA is no longer limited to its role as a biological information carrier; as a natural polymer, it also become in the field of materials. Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecules with specific sequences can form a G-quadruplex or hairpin-shaped conformation with [...] Read more.
The significance of DNA is no longer limited to its role as a biological information carrier; as a natural polymer, it also become in the field of materials. Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecules with specific sequences can form a G-quadruplex or hairpin-shaped conformation with specific heavy metal ions through coordination bonds. In this study, ssDNA molecules of the four sequences were prepared into hybrid assemblies with one of the famous display materials, the tris-(8-hydroxyquinoline)aluminum (Alq3) semiconductor. Based on these hybrid assemblies, heavy metal ions, namely Pb2+, Hg2+, Cd2+ and As3+, were detected individually at the ppb level. Apart from this, in practical application, many samples containing heavy metal ions are digested with acid. By introducing MES buffer solution, the influence of acidity on the fluorescent signal of Alq3 was excluded. This strategy showed promising results in the practical application of detecting heavy metal ions in shrub branches and leaves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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21 pages, 6096 KiB  
Article
A Mask-Shaped Respiration Sensor Using Triboelectricity and a Machine Learning Approach toward Smart Sleep Monitoring Systems
by Jonghyeon Yun, Jihyeon Park, Suna Jeong, Deokgi Hong and Daewon Kim
Polymers 2022, 14(17), 3549; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14173549 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
Daily sleep monitoring is limited by the needs for specialized equipment and experts. This study combines a mask-shaped triboelectric nanogenerator (M-TENG) and machine learning for facile daily sleep monitoring without the specialized equipment or experts. The fabricated M-TENG demonstrates its excellent ability to [...] Read more.
Daily sleep monitoring is limited by the needs for specialized equipment and experts. This study combines a mask-shaped triboelectric nanogenerator (M-TENG) and machine learning for facile daily sleep monitoring without the specialized equipment or experts. The fabricated M-TENG demonstrates its excellent ability to detect respiration, even distinguishing oral and nasal breath. To increase the pressure sensitivity of the M-TENG, the reactive ion etching is conducted with different tilted angles. By investigating each surface morphology of the polytetrafluoroethylene films according to the reactive ion etching with different tilted angles, the tilted angle is optimized with the angle of 60° and the pressure sensitivity is increased by 5.8 times. The M-TENG can also detect changes in the angle of head and snoring. Various sleep stages can be classified by their distinctive electrical outputs, with the aid of a machine learning approach. As a result, a high averaged-classification accuracy of 87.17% is achieved for each sleep stage. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed combination can be utilized to monitor the sleep stage in order to provide an aid for self-awareness of sleep disorders. Considering these results, the M-TENG and machine learning approach is expected to be utilized as a smart sleep monitoring system in near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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15 pages, 4310 KiB  
Article
Molecular Imprinted ZnS Quantum Dots-Based Sensor for Selective Sulfanilamide Detection
by Xin Zhang, Pengfei Jiao, Yihan Ma and Yuping Wei
Polymers 2022, 14(17), 3540; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14173540 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1745
Abstract
Combining molecular imprinted polymers and water-soluble manganese-doped zinc sulfide quantum dots (Mn2+: ZnS QDs), a new molecule imprinted polymers-based fluorescence sensor was designed. The molecule imprinted quantum dots (MIP@QDs) were constructed by coating molecular imprinted polymers layer on the surface of [...] Read more.
Combining molecular imprinted polymers and water-soluble manganese-doped zinc sulfide quantum dots (Mn2+: ZnS QDs), a new molecule imprinted polymers-based fluorescence sensor was designed. The molecule imprinted quantum dots (MIP@QDs) were constructed by coating molecular imprinted polymers layer on the surface of ZnS: Mn2+ QDs using the surface molecular imprinting technology. The developed MIP@QDs-based sensor was used for rapid and selective fluorescence sensing of sulfanilamide in water samples. The binding experiments showed that the MIP@QDs has rapid fluorescent responses, which are highly selective of and sensitive to the detection of sulfanilamide. The respond time of the MIP@QDs was 5 min, and the imprinting factor was 14.8. Under optimal conditions, the developed MIP@QDs-based sensor shows a good linearity (R2 = 0.9916) over a sulfanilamide concentration range from 2.90 × 10−8 to 2.90 × 10−6 mol L−1, with a detection limit of 3.23 × 10−9 mol L−1. Furthermore, the proposed MIP@QDs-based sensor was applied to the determination of sulfanilamide in real samples, with recoveries of 96.80%–104.33%, exhibiting good recyclability and stability. Experimental results showed that the prepared MIP@QDs has the potential to serve as a selective and sensitive sensor for the fluorescence sensing of sulfonamides in water samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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15 pages, 3730 KiB  
Article
Printing Polymeric Convex Lenses to Boost the Sensitivity of a Graphene-Based UV Sensor
by Jonghyun Kim, Dongwoon Shin and Jiyoung Chang
Polymers 2022, 14(15), 3204; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14153204 - 05 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1731
Abstract
Ultraviolet (UV) is widely used in daily life as well as in industrial manufacturing. In this study, a single-step postprocess to improve the sensitivity of a graphene-based UV sensor is studied. We leverage the advantage of electric-field-assisted on-demand printing, which is simply applicable [...] Read more.
Ultraviolet (UV) is widely used in daily life as well as in industrial manufacturing. In this study, a single-step postprocess to improve the sensitivity of a graphene-based UV sensor is studied. We leverage the advantage of electric-field-assisted on-demand printing, which is simply applicable for mounting functional polymers onto various structures. Here, the facile printing process creates optical plano-convex geometry by accelerating and colliding a highly viscous droplet on a micropatterned graphene channel. The printed transparent lens refracts UV rays. The concentrated UV photon energy from a wide field of view enhances the photodesorption of electron-hole pairs between the lens and the graphene sensor channel, which is coupled with a large change in resistance. As a result, the one-step post-treatment has about a 4× higher sensitivity compared to bare sensors without the lenses. We verify the applicability of printing and the boosting mechanism by variation of lens dimensions, a series of UV exposure tests, and optical simulation. Moreover, the method contributes to UV sensing in acute angle or low irradiation. In addition, the catalytic lens provides about a 9× higher recovery rate, where water molecules inside the PEI lens deliver fast reassembly of the electron-hole pairs. The presented method with an ultimately simple fabrication step is expected to be applied to academic research and prototyping, including optoelectronic sensors, energy devices, and advanced manufacturing processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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38 pages, 8923 KiB  
Article
Polymer Conductive Membrane-Based Non-Touch Mode Circular Capacitive Pressure Sensors: An Analytical Solution-Based Method for Design and Numerical Calibration
by Fei-Yan Li, Qi Zhang, Xue Li, Xiao-Ting He and Jun-Yi Sun
Polymers 2022, 14(15), 3087; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14153087 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1141
Abstract
In this paper, an analytical solution-based method for the design and numerical calibration of polymer conductive membrane-based non-touch mode circular capacitive pressure sensors is presented. The accurate analytical relationship between the capacitance and applied pressure of the sensors is derived by using the [...] Read more.
In this paper, an analytical solution-based method for the design and numerical calibration of polymer conductive membrane-based non-touch mode circular capacitive pressure sensors is presented. The accurate analytical relationship between the capacitance and applied pressure of the sensors is derived by using the analytical solution for the elastic behavior of the circular polymer conductive membranes under pressure. Based on numerical calculations using the accurate analytical relationship and the analytical solution, the analytical relationship between the pressure as output and the capacitance as input, which is necessary to achieve the capacitive pressure sensor mechanism of detecting pressure by measuring capacitance, is accurately established by least-squares data fitting. An example of how to arrive at the design and numerical calibration of a non-touch mode circular capacitive pressure sensor is first given. Then, the influence of changing design parameters such as membrane thickness and Young’s modulus of elasticity on input–output relationships is investigated, thus clarifying the direction of approaching the desired input–output relationships by changing design parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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19 pages, 6993 KiB  
Article
Textile Strain Sensor Enhancement by Coating Metal Yarns with Carbon-Filled Silicone
by Rike Brendgen, Ramona Nolden, Jasmin Simon, Theresa Junge, Kerstin Zöll and Anne Schwarz-Pfeiffer
Polymers 2022, 14(13), 2525; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14132525 - 21 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1903
Abstract
Flexible and stretchable strain sensors are an important development for measuring various movements and forces and are increasingly used in a wide range of smart textiles. For example, strain sensors can be used to measure the movements of arms, legs or individual joints. [...] Read more.
Flexible and stretchable strain sensors are an important development for measuring various movements and forces and are increasingly used in a wide range of smart textiles. For example, strain sensors can be used to measure the movements of arms, legs or individual joints. Thereby, most strain sensors are capable of detecting large movements with a high sensitivity. Very few are able to measure small movements, i.e., strains of less than 5%, with a high sensitivity, which is necessary to carry out important health measurements, such as breathing, bending, heartbeat, and vibrations. This research deals with the development of strain sensors capable of detecting strain of 1% with a high sensitivity. For this purpose, a total of six commercially available metallic yarns were coated with a carbon-containing silicone coating. The process is based on a vertical dip-coating technology with a self-printed 3D coating bath. Afterwards, the finished yarns were interlooped and stretched by 1% while electrical resistance measurements were carried out. It was shown that, although the coating reduced the overall conductivity of the yarns, it also improved their sensitivity to stress. Conclusively, highly sensitive strain sensors, designed specially for small loads, were produced by a simple coating set-up and interlooping structure of the sensory yarns, which could easily be embedded in greater textile structures for wearable electronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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13 pages, 7061 KiB  
Article
Significant Electromechanical Characteristic Enhancement of Coaxial Electrospinning Core–Shell Fibers
by Duc-Nam Nguyen and Wonkyu Moon
Polymers 2022, 14(9), 1739; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14091739 - 25 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2269
Abstract
Electrospinning is a low-cost and straightforward method for producing various types of polymers in micro/nanofiber form. Among the various types of polymers, electrospun piezoelectric polymers have many potential applications. In this study, a new type of functional microfiber composed of poly(γ-benzyl-α,L-glutamate) (PBLG) and [...] Read more.
Electrospinning is a low-cost and straightforward method for producing various types of polymers in micro/nanofiber form. Among the various types of polymers, electrospun piezoelectric polymers have many potential applications. In this study, a new type of functional microfiber composed of poly(γ-benzyl-α,L-glutamate) (PBLG) and poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) with significantly enhanced electromechanical properties has been reported. Recently reported electrospun PBLG fibers exhibit polarity along the axial direction, while electrospun PVDF fibers have the highest net dipole moment in the transverse direction. Hence, a combination of PBLG and PVDF as a core–shell structure has been investigated in the present work. On polarization under a high voltage, enhancement in the net dipole moment in each material and the intramolecular conformation was observed. The piezoelectric coefficient of the electrospun PBLG/PVDF core–shell fibers was measured to be up to 68 pC N−1 (d33), and the voltage generation under longitudinal extension was 400 mVpp (peak-to-peak) at a frequency of 60 Hz, which is better than that of the electrospun homopolymer fibers. Such new types of functional materials can be used in various applications, such as sensors, actuators, smart materials, implantable biosensors, biomedical engineering devices, and energy harvesting devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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11 pages, 3589 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of a Flexible, Wireless Micro-Heater on Elastomer for Wearable Gas Sensor Applications
by Jonam Cho and Gunchul Shin
Polymers 2022, 14(8), 1557; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14081557 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2284
Abstract
Thin-film microdevices can be applied to various wearable devices due to their high flexibility compared to conventional bulk-type electronic devices. Among the various microdevice types, many IoT-based sensor devices have been developed recently. In the case of such sensor elements, it is important [...] Read more.
Thin-film microdevices can be applied to various wearable devices due to their high flexibility compared to conventional bulk-type electronic devices. Among the various microdevice types, many IoT-based sensor devices have been developed recently. In the case of such sensor elements, it is important to control the surrounding environment to optimize the sensing characteristics. Among these environmental factors, temperature often has a great influence. There are cases where temperature significantly affects the sensor characteristics, as is the case for gas sensors. For this purpose, the development of thin-film-type micro-heaters is important. For this study, a wirelessly driven thin-film micro-heater was fabricated on the flexible and stretchable elastomer, a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS); the antenna was optimized; and the heater was driven at the temperature up to 102 degrees Celsius. The effect of its use on gas-sensing characteristics was compared through the application of the proposed micro-heater to a gas sensor. The heated SnO2 nanowire gas sensor improved the performance of detecting carbon monoxide (CO) by more than 20%, and the recovery time was reduced to less than half. It is expected that thin-film-type micro-heaters that can be operated wirelessly are suitable for application in various wearable devices, including those for smart sensors and health monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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11 pages, 3555 KiB  
Article
Fluorophenol-Containing Hydrogen-Bond Acidic Polysiloxane for Gas Sensing-Synthesis and Characterization
by Michał Grabka, Przemysław Kula, Mateusz Szala, Krzysztof Jasek and Michał Czerwiński
Polymers 2022, 14(6), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14061147 - 13 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2076
Abstract
In this work, the synthesis of a new polysiloxane, poly {dimethylsiloxane-co-[4-(2,3-difluoro-4-hydroxyphenoxy) butyl] methylsiloxane} (dubbed PMFOS), is presented. This polymer exhibits high hydrogen bond acidity and was designed to be used as a sensor layer in gas sensors. The description of the [...] Read more.
In this work, the synthesis of a new polysiloxane, poly {dimethylsiloxane-co-[4-(2,3-difluoro-4-hydroxyphenoxy) butyl] methylsiloxane} (dubbed PMFOS), is presented. This polymer exhibits high hydrogen bond acidity and was designed to be used as a sensor layer in gas sensors. The description of the synthetic route of the PMFOS has been divided into two main stages: the synthesis of the functional substituent 4-(but-3-en-1-yloxy)-2,3-difluorophenol, and the post-polymerization functionalization of the polysiloxane chain (methylhydrosiloxane-dimethylsiloxane copolymer) via hydrosilylation. The synthesized material was subjected to instrumental analysis, which confirmed its structure. The performed thermal analysis made it possible to determine some properties important for the sensor application, such as glass transition temperature and decomposition temperature. The results showed that PMFOS meets the requirements for materials intended for use in gas sensors based on acoustoelectric transducers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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Review

Jump to: Research

31 pages, 9403 KiB  
Review
Research Progresses in Microstructure Designs of Flexible Pressure Sensors
by Hao Huang, Jinyao Zhong, Yongliang Ye, Renxu Wu, Bin Luo, Honglong Ning, Tian Qiu, Dongxiang Luo, Rihui Yao and Junbiao Peng
Polymers 2022, 14(17), 3670; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14173670 - 04 Sep 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3684
Abstract
Flexible electronic technology is one of the research hotspots, and numerous wearable devices have been widely used in our daily life. As an important part of wearable devices, flexible sensors can effectively detect various stimuli related to specific environments or biological species, having [...] Read more.
Flexible electronic technology is one of the research hotspots, and numerous wearable devices have been widely used in our daily life. As an important part of wearable devices, flexible sensors can effectively detect various stimuli related to specific environments or biological species, having a very bright development prospect. Therefore, there has been lots of studies devoted to developing high-performance flexible pressure sensors. In addition to developing a variety of materials with excellent performances, the microstructure designs of materials can also effectively improve the performances of sensors, which has brought new ideas to scientists and attracted their attention increasingly. This paper will summarize the flexible pressure sensors based on material microstructure designs in recent years. The paper will mainly discuss the processing methods and characteristics of various sensors with different microstructures, and compare the advantages, disadvantages, and application scenarios of them. At the same time, the main application fields of flexible pressure sensors based on microstructure designs will be listed, and their future development and challenges will be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors)
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