Flexible temperature sensors made of aligned electrospun carbon nanofiber films with outstanding sensitivity and selectivity towards temperature

Jeng Hun Lee, Haomin Chen, Eunyoung Kim, Heng Zhang, Ke Wu, Hongming Zhang, Xi Shen, Qingbin Zheng, Jinglei Yang, Seokwoo Jeon, Jang Kyo Kim

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Continuous real-time measurement of body temperature using a wearable sensor is an essential part of human health monitoring. Electrospun aligned carbon nanofiber (ACNF) films are employed to assemble flexible temperature sensors. The temperature sensor prepared at a low carbonization temperature of 650 °C yields an outstanding sensitivity of 1.52% °C-1, high accuracy, good linearity, fast response time and excellent long-term durability. Moreover, it exhibits high discriminability towards temperature amidst other unwanted stimuli and maintains its original performance even after repeated stretch/release cycles because of highly-aligned structures. The correlation between the atomic structure and the temperature sensing performance of ACNF sensors is established. Contrary to conventional highly conductive temperature sensors, the ACNF sensor with a low electrical conductivity prepared at a low carbonization temperature ameliorates the temperature sensing performance. This anomaly is explained by (i) the smaller and more disordered sp2 carbon crystallites yielding a high negative temperature coefficient, (ii) a larger number of defects, and (iii) a higher pyridinic-N content generating abundant entrapped and localized electrons which are activated once sufficient thermal energy is available. Flexible ACNF sensor's overall performance is among the best-known carbon material-based flexible temperature sensors, demonstrating potential applications in emerging healthcare and flexible electronics technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1488-1498
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Horizons
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this