Nanocomposite-Based Microstructured Piezoresistive Pressure Sensors for Low-Pressure Measurement Range

Vasileios Mitrakos, Philip J. W. Hands, Gerard Cummins, Lisa Macintyre, Fiona C. Denison, David Flynn, Marc Phillipe Yves Desmulliez

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Abstract

Piezoresistive pressure sensors capable of detecting ranges of low compressive stresses have been successfully fabricated and characterised. The 5.5 × 5 × 1.6 mm3 sensors consist of a planar aluminium top electrode and a microstructured bottom electrode containing a two-by-two array of truncated pyramids with a piezoresistive composite layer sandwiched in-between. The responses of two different piezocomposite materials, a Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube (MWCNT)-elastomer composite and a Quantum Tunneling Composite (QTC), have been characterised as a function of applied pressure and effective contact area. The MWCNT piezoresistive composite-based sensor was able to detect pressures as low as 200 kPa. The QTC-based sensor was capable of detecting pressures as low as 50 kPa depending on the contact area of the bottom electrode. Such sensors could find useful applications requiring the detection of small compressive loads such as those encountered in haptic sensing or robotics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Number of pages15
JournalMicromachines
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • pressure sensor
  • piezoresistive sensor
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • quantum tunneling composite

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