In one aspect, the present invention relates to a layered structure usable in a strain sensor. In one embodiment, the layered structure has a substrate with a first surface and an opposite, second surface defining a body portion therebetween; and a film of carbon nanotubes deposited on the first surface of the substrate, wherein the film of carbon nanotubes is conductive and characterized with an electrical resistance. In one embodiment, the carbon nanotubes are aligned in a preferential direction. In one embodiment, the carbon nanotubes are formed in a yarn such that any mechanical stress increases their electrical response. In one embodiment, the carbon nanotubes are incorporated into a polymeric scaffold that is attached to the surface of the substrate. In one embodiment, the surfaces of the carbon nanotubes are functionalized such that its electrical conductivity is increased.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS UNDER FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-FG36-06GO86072 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy and Grant No. NSF/EPS-1003970 awarded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and under contract NAS10-03006 awarded by NASA. The government has certain rights in the invention.