This paper proposes a highly stretchable strain sensor using viscous conductive materials as resistive element and introduces a simple and economic fabrication process by encapsulating the conductive materials between two layers of silicone rubbers Ecoflex 00-30. The fabrication process of the strain sensor is presented, and the properties of the viscous conductive materials are studied. Characterization shows that the sensor with conductive gels, toothpastes, carbon paint, and carbon grease can sustain a maximum tensile strain of 200% and retain good repeatability, with a strain gauge factor of 2.0, 1.75, 3.0, and 7.5, respectively. Furthermore, strain sensors with graphite and carbon nanotubes mixed with conductive gels are fabricated to explore how to improve the gauge factor. With a focus on the most promising material, conductive carbon grease, cyclic stretching tests are conducted and show good repeatability at 100% strain for 100 cycles. Lastly, it is demonstrated that the stretchable strain sensor made of carbon grease is capable of measuring finger bending. With its easy and low-cost fabrication process, large strain detection range and good gauge factor, the conductive materials-based strain sensors are promising for future biomedical, wearable electronics and rehabilitation applications.

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