University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Microporous Capacitive Pressure Sensors

Date: 2017-04-19           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 11:00am-12:00pm
Location: Holmes Hall 389
Speaker: Diana Vera, EE MS Candidate


The automotive, dental, and medical industries use sensors for pressure analysis. The medical industry uses pressure sensors for minimally invasive surgeries and for self-monitoring of vital signals. Smaller and more sensitive devices may help to increase comfort during surgery and decrease post-surgical complications for an improved surgical experience for doctors, and more importantly, patients. To this end, a microporous capacitive pressure sensor was developed. The sensors were fabricated from microporous polydimethylsiloxane dielectric layers and copper electrodes. To achieve higher sensitivity, micropores were formed by adding granulated sucrose with the pre-polymer base and curing agent. The best sensitivity of S = 0.023 kPa-1 was achieved over a pressure range from 0 to 174 kPa. The most sensitive device was tested at the physiological temperature of 37 C, mimicking a surgical environment. In parallel to this work, a commercial resistive pressure sensor was tested over a pressure range from 0 to 14 kPa. The performance of the capacitive pressure sensors show promise for use in surgical and non-invasive pressure sensing.