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Dr. Nabisab Mujawar Mubarak, Speaker at
Curtin University, Malaysia
Title : Synthesis of graphene based buckypaper infiltrated with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) for strain sensor application


Strain sensors in the form of Buckypaper (BP) infiltrated with various polymers are considered a viable option for strain sensor applications such as structural health monitoring and human motion detection. Graphene has outstanding properties in terms of strength, heat and current conduction, optics, and many more. However, graphene in the form of BP has not been considered earlier for strain sensing applications. In this work, graphene-based BP infiltrated with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was synthesized by vacuum filtration technique and polymer intercalation. First, Graphene oxide (GO) was prepared via treatment with sulphuric acid and nitric acid. Whereas, to obtain high-quality BP, GO was sonicated in ethanol for 20 minutes with sonication intensity of 60%. FTIR studies confirmed the oxygenated groups on the surface of GO while the dispersion characteristics were validated using zeta potential analysis. The nanocomposite was synthesized by varying BP and PVA concentrations. Mechanical and electrical properties were measured using a computerized tensile testing machine, two probe method, and hall effect, respectively. The electrical conducting properties of the nanocomposites decreased with increasing PVA content; likewise, electron mobility also decreased while electrical resistance increased. The optimization study reports the highest mechanical properties such as tensile strength, Young’s Modulus, and elongation at break of 200.55 MPa, 6.59 GPa, and 6.79%, respectively. Finally, electrochemical testing in a strain range of ε~4% also testifies superior strain sensing properties of 60 wt% graphene BP/PVA with a demonstration of repeatability, accuracy, and preciseness for five loading and unloading cycles with a gauge factor of 1.33. Thus, results prove the usefulness of the nanocomposite for commercial and industrial applications.

Audience Take Away:
• Graphene based buckypaper infiltrated strain sensor exhibited a good sensibility and stretch ability in good linear strain range.
• Graphene based buckypaper infiltrated with poly vinyl alcohol can be synthesized by simple vacuum filtration and
infiltration technique.
• The sensor demonstrated a linear and quick response to applied strain with no hysteresis.
• It has high durability and excellent recovery performance.
• The sensor shows ability to detect complex deformations.


Dr. Nabisab Mujawar Mubarak is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Curtin University, Malaysia. He serves as a scientific reviewer in numerous journals in the area of Chemical Engineering and Nano Technology. In research, Dr. Mubarak has published more than 190 journal papers, 23 conference proceedings and authored 25 book chapters. His area of interest is carbon nanomaterials synthesis, magnetic biochar production using microwave and wastewater treatment using advanced materials. He is a recipient of the Curtin Malaysia Most Productive Research award, outstanding faculty of Chemical Engineering award, Best Scientific Research Award London and outstanding scientist in publication and citation by i- Proclaim, Malaysia. Dr. Mubarak is a Fellow Member of The Institution of Engineers Australia, Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) of The Institution of Engineers Australia and also a Chartered Chemical Engineer of the Institute of Chemical Engineering (IChemE) UK.