Facile fabrication of 3d porous sponges coated with synergistic carbon black/multiwalled carbon nanotubes for tactile sensing applications

Yousef Al-Handarish, Olatunji Mumini Omisore, Wenke Duan, Luo Zebang, Toluwanimi Oluwadara Akinyemi, Wenjing Du, Hui Li, Lei Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, flexible tactile sensors based on three-dimensional (3D) porous conductive composites, endowed with high sensitivity, a wide sensing range, fast response, and the capability to detect low pressures, have aroused considerable attention. These sensors have been employed in different practical domain areas such as artificial skin, healthcare systems, and human–machine interaction. In this study, a facile, cost-efficient method is proposed for fabricating a highly sensitive piezoresistive tactile sensor based on a 3D porous dielectric layer. The proposed sensor is designed with a simple dip-coating homogeneous synergetic conductive network of carbon black (CB) and multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNTs) composite on polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) sponge skeletons. The unique combination of a 3D porous structure, with hybrid conductive networks of CB/MWCNTs displayed a superior elasticity, with outstanding electrical characterization under external compression. The piezoresistive tactile sensor exhibited a high sensitivity of (15 kPa−1), with a rapid response time (100 ms), the capability of detecting both large and small compressive strains, as well as excellent mechanical deformability and stability over 1000 cycles. Benefiting from a long-term stability, fast response, and low-detection limit, the piezoresistive sensor was successfully utilized in monitoring human physiological signals, including finger heart rate, pulses, knee bending, respiration, and finger grabbing motions during the process of picking up an object. Furthermore, a comprehensive performance of the sensor was carried out, and the sensor’s design fulfilled vital evaluation metrics, such as low-cost and simplicity in the fabrication process. Thus, 3D porous-based piezoresistive tactile sensors could rapidly promote the development of high-performance flexible sensors, and make them very attractive for an enormous range of potential applications in healthcare devices, wearable electronics, and intelligent robotic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1941
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D porous structure
  • Flexible tactile sensors
  • Healthcare systems
  • Human–machine interface
  • Piezoresistive sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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