Facile Fabrication of a Bio-Inspired Leaf Vein-Based Ultra-Sensitive Humidity Sensor with a Hygroscopic Polymer

Pin Hsuan Li, Govindasamy Madhaiyan, Ying Yi Shin, Hsu Yang Tsai, Hsin-Fei Meng, Sheng Fu Horng, Hsiao Wen Zan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Bio-inspired materials have received significant interest in the development of flexible electronics due to their natural grid structures, especially natural leaf vein networks. In this work, a bio-inspired leaf vein-based flexible humidity sensor is demonstrated. The proposed sensor is composed of a leaf/Al/glycerin/Ag paste. The Al-deposited leaf vein networks are used as a bottom electrode with a resistance of around 100 Ω. The humidity sensor responds well to relative humidity (RH) levels ranging from 15% to 70% at room temperature. The fabricated humidity sensor exhibits an ultra-sensitive response to different humidity conditions due to the biodegradable insulating hygroscopic polymer (glycerin), specifically the ionic conductivity reaction. To further verify the presence of ionic conduction, the device performance is tested by doping NaCl salt into the hygroscopic polymer sensing layer. In addition, both the repeatability and flexibility of the sensor are tested under different bending angles (0°, 90°, 180°, and 360°). The bioinspired ultrasensitive humidity sensor with a biocompatible and biodegradable sensing layer holds great potential, especially for health care applications (e.g., respiratory monitoring) without causing any body harm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5030
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • bio-inspired leaf vein
  • flexible humidity sensor
  • hygroscopic polymer
  • room temperature


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