Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Sensors
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8235729, 9 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/8235729
Research Article

Mechanical Characterization of PDMS Films for the Optimization of Polymer Based Flexible Capacitive Pressure Microsensors

Centre of Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies (C2N-Orsay), CNRS, Université Paris Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France

Correspondence should be addressed to T.-H.-N. Dinh; rf.dusp-u@hnid.gnuhn-gnoh-iht

Received 23 January 2017; Accepted 23 March 2017; Published 12 April 2017

Academic Editor: Zubair Ahmad

Copyright © 2017 T.-H.-N. Dinh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper reports on the optimization of flexible PDMS-based normal pressure capacitive microsensors dedicated to wearable applications. The operating principle and the fabrication process of such microsensors are presented. Then, the deformations under local pressure of PDMS thin films of thicknesses ranging from 100 μm to 10 mm are studied by means of numerical simulations in order to foresee the sensitivity of the considered microsensors. The study points out that, for a given PDMS type, the sensor form ratio plays a major role in its sensitivity. Indeed, for a given PDMS film, the expected capacitance change under a 10 N load applied on a 1.7 mm radius electrode varies from a few percent to almost 40% according to the initial PDMS film thickness. These observations are validated by experimental characterizations carried out on PDMS film samples of various thicknesses (10 μm to 10 mm) and on actual microsensors. Further computations enable generalized sensor design rules to be highlighted. Considering practical limitations in the fabrication and in the implementation of the actual microsensors, design rules based on computed form ratio optimization lead to the elaboration of flexible pressure microsensors exhibiting a sensitivity which reaches up to .