Flexible Pressure Sensor Fabrication Using a Silver Film Capacitor

Open Access
Author:
Metts, Grant Lawrence
Area of Honors:
Engineering Science
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Huanyu Cheng, Thesis Supervisor
  • Sulin Zhang, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Pressure
  • Sensor
  • thin film
  • flexible
  • silver film
  • capacitor
Abstract:
Technology is at an age where one the major goals in industry is to seamlessly integrate electronic components into situations that have been thought previously impossible. Efforts have been made to create a pressure sensitive skin for robots, create medical sensors that replace invasive components with simple patches, and even put sensors into commonplace clothing items. With the increase in demand that society is placing on sensors, there is more of a need for pressure sensors that are completely flexible and aren’t held to the rigid restrictions of classical sensors. The goal of this thesis is to approach the problem of creating a flexible pressure sensor by using a simple capacitor designed to change its properties when pressure is applied. Through an iterative design approach, a completely flexible, stretchable pressure sensor made from silver-films and a PDMS dielectric layer has been created. The following paper walks through the fabrication process developed in the lab’s efforts and presents a capacitive sensor with an average capacitance of .170 pF/mm^2 that shows a 4.32% increase in capacitance under a 25 g load.