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Flexible Graphene-Based Wearable Gas and Chemical Sensors

ABSTRACT

Wearable electronics is expected to be one of the most active research areas in the next decade; therefore, nanomaterials possessing high carrier mobility, optical transparency, mechanical robustness and flexibility, lightweight, and environmental stability will be in immense demand. Graphene is one of the nanomaterials that fulfill all these requirements, along with other inherently unique properties and convenience to fabricate into different morphological nanostructures, from atomically thin single layers to nanoribbons. Graphene-based materials have also been investigated in sensor technologies, from chemical sensing to detection of cancer biomarkers. The progress of graphene-based flexible gas and chemical sensors in terms of material preparation, sensor fabrication, and their performance are reviewed here. The article provides a brief introduction to graphene-based materials and their potential applications in flexible and stretchable wearable electronic devices. The role of graphene in fabricating flexible gas sensors for the detection of various hazardous gases, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ammonia (NH3), hydrogen (H2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and humidity in wearable technology, is discussed. In addition, applications of graphene-based materials are also summarized in detecting toxic heavy metal ions (Cd, Hg, Pb, Cr, Fe, Ni, Co, Cu, Ag), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including nitrobenzene, toluene, acetone, formaldehyde, amines, phenols, bisphenol A (BPA), explosives, chemical warfare agents, and environmental pollutants. The sensitivity, selectivity and strategies for excluding interferents are also discussed for graphene-based gas and chemical sensors. The challenges for developing future generation of flexible and stretchable sensors for wearable technology that would be usable for the Internet of Things (IoT) are also highlighted.

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