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Fabrication of flexible pressure sensors with microstructured polydimethylsiloxane dielectrics using the breath figures method

  • Sophie Miller (a1) and Zhenan Bao (a1)

Abstract

Flexible touch sensors with high sensitivity show promise in biomedical diagnostics and for artificial “electronic skin” for robotics or prosthetic devices. For “electronic skin” applications, there exists a need for low-cost, scalable methods for producing pixels that sense both medium (10–100 kPa) and low pressures (<10 kPa). Here, the “breath figures” (BFs) method, a simple, self-assembly-based method for producing honeycomb-structured porous polymer films, was used to prepare pattern compressible, and microstructured dielectric layers for capacitive pressure sensors. Porous polystyrene BFs films served as molds for structuring polydimethylsiloxane dielectrics. Pressure sensing devices containing the BFs-molded dielectrics consistently gave pressure response with little hysteresis, high sensitivities at lower applied pressures, and improved sensitivity at higher pressures. Analysis of microstructure geometries and pressure sensor performance suggests that structures with higher aspect ratios (height-to-width) produce less hysteresis, and that less uniform, more polydisperse structures yield a more linear pressure response.

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Corresponding author

a) Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: zbao@stanford.edu

References

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Fabrication of flexible pressure sensors with microstructured polydimethylsiloxane dielectrics using the breath figures method

  • Sophie Miller (a1) and Zhenan Bao (a1)

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