High porous, ultra-thin paper sensors? An option for successful sensor integration
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Flexible, easy-to-integrate sensors printed on thin materials are currently causing revolutions in a variety of applications. Using cellulosic substrates for these sensors results in promising future sensor technology that can also be made sustainable. For minimally invasive integration, sensors should ideally be made of the same material as the end product. Since resins can permeate through it, porous paper is the perfect substrate not only for products made of natural fibre composites, but also for those made of carbon and glass fibres. The paper industry produces numerous types of highly porous or ultra-thin paper, for instance, for tea bags, overlays, sausage casings and capacitors. These papers do not contain any additives and are chemically inert. This work shows that it is possible to print sensors on commercial highly porous papers or nonwovens. These printed sensors can be integrated into composites, allowing unbiased in-situ analysis of the cross-linking of the surrounding matrix. They offer a cost-effective and economical route for realizing a wide range of applications.