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Colorimetric and plasmonic pressure sensors based on polyacrylamide/Au nanoparticles
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Colorimetric stimuli-responsive nanomaterials have emerged as an eminent tool for sensor applications. Among this class of sensing elements, gold nanoparticle-based (Au NP) nanostructures are promising materials due to their plasmonic features. In this study, free-standing flexible polymeric films having intense optical response upon application of mechanical pressure were fabricated based on polyacrylamide (PAAm) and Au NPs. Pressure may cause plasmonic shift most probably due to the disassembly of the clusters from blue to reddish individual particles depending on the extent of pressure. Temperature, time, and extent of pressure were examined in terms of spectral change of Au particles. The sensor films depict working range up to 160 MPa, which shows minor change at elevated temperatures probably due to the stress induced crystallization of PAAm. For practical applications, a simple red-green-blue (RGB) space-based algorithm was presented for smartphone-assisted detection of applied pressure. Moreover, the PAAm/Au composite structure shows self-healing without any additive under ambient conditions even after divided into pieces. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.