Hierarchical aerographite 3D flexible networks hybridized by InP micro/nanostructures for strain sensor applications
In the present work, we report on development of three-dimensional flexible architectures consisting of an extremely porous three-dimensional Aerographite (AG) backbone decorated by InP micro/nanocrystallites grown by a single step hydride vapor phase epitaxy process. The systematic investigation of the hybrid materials by scanning electron microscopy demonstrates a rather uniform spatial distribution of InP crystallites without agglomeration on the surface of Aerographite microtubular structures. X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and Raman scattering analysis demonstrate that InP crystallites grown on bare Aerographite are of zincblende structure, while a preliminary functionalization of the Aerographite backbone with Au nanodots promotes the formation of crystalline In2O3 nanowires as well as gold-indium oxide core-shell nanostructures. The electromechanical properties of the hybrid AG-InP composite material are shown to be better than those of previously reported bare AG and AG-GaN networks. Robustness, elastic behavior and excellent translation of the mechanical deformation to variations in electrical conductivity highlight the prospects of AG-InP applications in tactile/strain sensors and other device structures related to flexible electronics.