Stretchable Array of Highly Sensitive Pressure Sensors Consisting of Polyaniline Nanofibers and Au-Coated Polydimethylsiloxane Micropillars.ACS Nano. 2015 Oct 27; 9(10):9974-85.AN
We report on the facile fabrication of a stretchable array of highly sensitive pressure sensors. The proposed pressure sensor consists of the top layer of Au-deposited polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) micropillars and the bottom layer of conductive polyaniline nanofibers on a polyethylene terephthalate substrate. The sensors are operated by the changes in contact resistance between Au-coated micropillars and polyaniline according to the varying pressure. The fabricated pressure sensor exhibits a sensitivity of 2.0 kPa(-1) in the pressure range below 0.22 kPa, a low detection limit of 15 Pa, a fast response time of 50 ms, and high stability over 10000 cycles of pressure loading/unloading with a low operating voltage of 1.0 V. The sensor is also capable of noninvasively detecting human-pulse waveforms from carotid and radial artery. A 5 × 5 array of the pressure sensors on the deformable substrate, which consists of PDMS islands for sensors and the mixed thin film of PDMS and Ecoflex with embedded liquid metal interconnections, shows stable sensing of pressure under biaxial stretching by 15%. The strain distribution obtained by the finite element method confirms that the maximum strain applied to the pressure sensor in the strain-suppressed region is less than 0.04% under a 15% biaxial strain of the unit module. This work demonstrates the potential application of our proposed stretchable pressure sensor array for wearable and artificial electronic skin devices.