Ultra-Stretchable Kirigami Piezo-Metamaterials for Sensing Coupled Large Deformations

Mechanical metamaterials are known for their prominent mechanical characteristics such as programmable deformation that are due to periodic microstructures. Recent research trends have shifted to utilizing mechanical metamaterials as structural substrates to integrate with functional materials for advanced functionalities beyond mechanical, such as active sensing. This study reports on the ultra-stretchable kirigami piezo-metamaterials (KPM) for sensing coupled large deformations caused by in- and out-of-plane displacements using the lead zirconate titanate (PZT) and barium titanate (BaTiO3) composite films. The KPM are fabricated by uniformly compounding and polarizing piezoelectric particles (i.e., PZT and BaTiO3) in silicon rubber and structured by cutting the piezoelectric rubbery films into ligaments. Characterizes the electrical properties of the KPM and investigates the bistable mechanical response under the coupled large deformations with the stretching ratio up to 200% strains. Finally, the PZT KPM sensors are integrated into wireless sensing systems for the detection of vehicle tire bulge, and the non-toxic BaTiO3 KPM are applied for human posture monitoring. The reported kirigami piezo-metamaterials open an exciting venue for the control and manipulation of mechanically functional metamaterials for active sensing under complex deformation scenarios in many applications.