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Polymeric foams for flexible and highly sensitive low-pressure capacitive sensors

Abstract : Flexible low-pressure sensors (<10 kPa) are required in areas as diverse as blood-pressure monitoring, human-computer interactions, robotics, and object detection. For applications, it is essential that these sensors combine flexibility, high sensitivity, robustness, and low production costs. Previous works involve surface micro-patterning, electronic amplification (OFET), and hydrogels. However, these solutions are limited as they involve complex processes, large bias voltages, large energy consumption, or are sensitive to evaporation. Here, we report a major advance to solve the challenge of scalable, efficient and robust e-skin. We present an unconventional capacitive sensor based on composite foam materials filled with conductive carbon black particles. Owing to the elastic buckling of the foam pores, the sensitivity exceeds 35 kPa −1 for pressure <0.2 kPa. These performances are one order of magnitude higher than the ones previously reported. These materials are low-cost, easy to prepare, and display high capacitance values, which are easy to measure using low-cost electronics. These materials pave the road for the implementation of e-skin in commercialized applications. npj Flexible Electronics (2019) 3:7 ; https://doi.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 5:48:15 PM
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Mickael Pruvost, Wilbert Smit, Cécile Monteux, Philippe Poulin, Annie Colin. Polymeric foams for flexible and highly sensitive low-pressure capacitive sensors. npj Flexible Electronics, 2019, 3 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41528-019-0052-6⟩. ⟨hal-02321074⟩

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