Strain-controlled nanocrack formation in a Pd film on polydimethylsiloxane for the detection of low H2 concentrations

Sungyeon Kim, Hyun Sook Lee, Byungjin Jang, Sungmee Cho, Wooyoung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We report quantitative nanocrack formation upon adjusting the mechanical tensile strain applied to a Pd thin film on an elastomeric polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate and its detection properties for H2 gas in air. Nanocrack formation in Pd/PDMS substrates was controlled through the application of tensile strains that varied in the range 30–120 % during mechanical stretching/compression. This method can be used to modulate nanocrack formation along both the x- and y-axes over a large area. Increasing the applied tensile strain to 90 % induced the appearance of horizontal cracks along the y-axis in addition to an increased number of vertical cracks along the x-axis. When the strain reached 120 %, ordered nanocracks abundantly propagated on the Pd surface in both the directions. Gas detection properties were dramatically enhanced, with a very low detection limit of 50 ppm H2 in air observed for 120 % strain. This was attributed to the large surface area in the Pd nanocrack pattern, which readily allowed for volume expansion. These results provide a simple mechanism for controlling the detection properties of H2 gas sensors with low detection limits in air.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4530-4537
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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