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Self‐Sensing Paper Actuators Based on Graphite–Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Films

mortezaamjadi's picture

 Published in Advanced Science

Abstract: Soft actuators have demonstrated potential in a range of applications, including soft robotics, artificial muscles, and biomimetic devices. However, the majority of current soft actuators suffer from the lack of real‐time sensory feedback, prohibiting their effective sensing and multitask function. Here, a promising strategy is reported to design bilayer electrothermal actuators capable of simultaneous actuation and sensation (i.e., self‐sensing actuators), merely through two input electric terminals. Decoupled electrothermal stimulation and strain sensation is achieved by the optimal combination of graphite microparticles and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the form of hybrid films. By finely tuning the charge transport properties of hybrid films, the signal‐to‐noise ratio (SNR) of self‐sensing actuators is remarkably enhanced to over 66. As a result, self‐sensing actuators can actively track their displacement and distinguish the touch of soft and hard objects.


marco.paggi's picture

Very interesting idea, congratulations.

We recently proposed a graphene flake ink as a strain gauge:

C. Casiraghi, M. Macucci, K. Parvez, R. Worsley, Y. Shin, F. Bronte, C. Borri, M. Paggi, and G. Fiori, “Inkjet printed 2d-crystal based strain gauges on paper,” CARBON, vol. 129, pp. 462–467, 2018. [link]


Have you checked how much is the gauge factor of your device, if used as a strain gauge?

mortezaamjadi's picture

Hi Marco,

Thank you for your feedback on my work. The gauge factor of our device based on graphite flakes was around 46. I could get even higher values by lowering the desnity of the coated layer (higher sheet resistance samples). However, I also had to care about high conductivity of my decive for low-voltage actuation. Therefore, there was a trade-off between gauge factor and electricual conductivty and I had to choose avarage values for both. Further information on the peformance of the stae-of-art strain sensors can be found in my recent review artilce below:

Stretchable, Skin‐Mountable, and Wearable Strain Sensors and Their Potential Applications: A Review (



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