Accelerometers are indispensable for detecting accelerating forces in automotive electronic systems. Although several accelerometers have been developed, they are still unstable for vehicle dynamics' applications in the low-frequency range (0-20 Hz). Here, we report a novel type of accelerometer based on a coiled carbon nanotube (CNT) yarn as a self-powered and low-frequency range-covered acceleration sensor. The proposed sensor is designed in a compact fiber-like structure for practical applications. Open-circuit voltage (OCV) signals are consistently generated during the stretch-and-release process of the coiled CNT yarn by the applied sinusoidal accelerations, and the OCV changes increase linearly with increasing acceleration from 4.84 to 48.37 m/s2. Our accelerometer exhibits excellent dynamic sensing performance in the low-frequency range compared with commercial accelerometers. In an application as a CNT yarn device configured with a mass load, the OCV change is linearly proportional to the applied acceleration. When our accelerometer is attached to a seatbelt in a vehicle, it generates OCV changes from the movement of the body mass underlying a certain acceleration change. Given its excellent sensing performance, the CNT yarn acceleration sensor could further be developed for practical applications, such as seatbelts and car seats with fabric and textile.
- carbon nanotube (CNT)