Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) foam-based fully 3D printed soft pressure sensors

Karagiorgis, X., Khandelwal, G. , Beniwal, A. , Chirila, R., Skabara, P. J. and Dahiya, R. (2023) Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) foam-based fully 3D printed soft pressure sensors. Advanced Intelligent Systems, 2300367. (doi: 10.1002/aisy.202300367) (Early Online Publication)

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Highly sensitive pressure sensors, with a wide operating range, are needed in applications such as wearables, prostheses, and haptic-based interactive systems. Herein, fully 3D printed capacitive pressure sensors comprising polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) foam-based dielectric layer, sandwiched between the poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate and silver nanowire-based electrodes, are presented. The printed electrodes exhibit excellent electrical properties (1.6 Ω sq−1, 20.35 kS m−1) and bendability. Various ratios of PDMS to ammonium bicarbonate (NH4HCO3) are evaluated to obtain dielectric layer with optimum pore sizes for better performance and ease of fabrication. The device with a PDMS:NH4HCO3 ratio of 4:0.8 exhibits a linear response with a sensitivity of 0.0055 kPa−1 in the tested pressure range of 5–170 kPa. The fully 3D printed sensors also show excellent repeatability over 500 cycles with an average hysteresis of 1.53%, and fast response and recovery times of 89 and 195 ms, respectively. The superiority of the presented 3D printed foam-based device is confirmed by 30% higher sensitivity in comparison with PDMS-based sensors. Finally, as a proof-of-concept, the pressure sensors presented in this study are assessed for their suitability in underwater environments and touch-based object recognition.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported in part by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council through Engineering Fellowship for Growth (EP/R029644/1) and Heteroprint Program Grant (EP/R03480X/1).
Keywords:capacitive sensor, pressure sensor, soft sensors, porous PDMS, direct ink writing, additive manufacturing.
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Karagiorgis, Xenofon and Dahiya, Professor Ravinder and Skabara, Professor Peter and Beniwal, Dr Ajay and Chirila, Mr Radu-Razvan and Khandelwal, Dr Gaurav
Creator Roles:
Karagiorgis, X.Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing – original draft
Khandelwal, G.Validation, Methodology, Writing – review and editing
Beniwal, A.Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Chirila, R.Data curation
Skabara, P.Supervision, Writing – review and editing
Dahiya, R.Conceptualization, Methodology, Supervision, Writing – review and editing, Project administration
Authors: Karagiorgis, X., Khandelwal, G., Beniwal, A., Chirila, R., Skabara, P. J., and Dahiya, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Advanced Intelligent Systems
ISSN (Online):2640-4567
Published Online:28 September 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright: © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Advanced Intelligent Systems 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
301728Engineering Fellowships for Growth: Printed Tactile SKINRavinder DahiyaEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R029644/1ENG - Electronics & Nanoscale Engineering
301327`Hetero-print: A holistic approach to transfer-printing for heterogeneous integration in manufacturingPeter SkabaraEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R03480X/1ENG - Electronics & Nanoscale Engineering