A flexible capacitive sensor with encapsulated liquids as dielectrics

Yasunari Hotta, Yuhua Zhang, Norihisa Miki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Flexible and high-sensitive capacitive sensors are demanded to detect pressure distribution and/or tactile information on a curved surface, hence, wide varieties of polymer-based flexible MEMS sensors have been developed. High-sensitivity may be achieved by increasing the capacitance of the sensor using solid dielectric material while it deteriorates the flexibility. Using air as the dielectric, to maintain the flexibility, sacrifices the sensor sensitivity. In this paper, we demonstrate flexible and highly sensitive capacitive sensor arrays that encapsulate highly dielectric liquids as the dielectric. Deionized water and glycerin, which have relative dielectric constants of approximately 80 and 47, respectively, could increase the capacitance of the sensor when used as the dielectric while maintaining flexibility of the sensor with electrodes patterned on flexible polymer substrates. A reservoir of liquids between the electrodes was designed to have a leak path, which allows the sensor to deform despite of the incompressibility of the encapsulated liquids. The proposed sensor was microfabricated and demonstrated successfully to have a five times greater sensitivity than sensors that use air as the dielectric.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalMicromachines
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

Capacitive sensors
Sensors
Liquids
Capacitance
Dielectric liquids
Electrodes
Deionized water
Sensor arrays
Polymers
Air
Glycerol
Pressure distribution
MEMS
Permittivity
Substrates

Keywords

  • Capacitive sensor
  • Flexible
  • Liquid encapsulation
  • Polymer MEMS
  • Tactile sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

A flexible capacitive sensor with encapsulated liquids as dielectrics. / Hotta, Yasunari; Zhang, Yuhua; Miki, Norihisa.

In: Micromachines, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2012, p. 137-149.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hotta, Yasunari ; Zhang, Yuhua ; Miki, Norihisa. / A flexible capacitive sensor with encapsulated liquids as dielectrics. In: Micromachines. 2012 ; Vol. 3, No. 1. pp. 137-149.
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