Porous Polydimethylsiloxane Elastomer Hybrid with Zinc Oxide Nanowire for Wearable, Wide-Range, and Low Detection Limit Capacitive Pressure Sensor

Gen Wen Hsieh*, Liang Cheng Shih, Pei Yuan Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

We propose a flexible capacitive pressure sensor that utilizes porous polydimethylsiloxane elastomer with zinc oxide nanowire as nanocomposite dielectric layer via a simple porogen-assisted process. With the incorporation of nanowires into the porous elastomer, our capacitive pressure sensor is not only highly responsive to subtle stimuli but vigorously so to gentle touch and verbal stimulation from 0 to 50 kPa. The fabricated zinc oxide nanowire–porous polydimethylsiloxane sensor exhibits superior sensitivity of 0.717 kPa−1, 0.360 kPa−1, and 0.200 kPa−1 at the pressure regimes of 0–50 Pa, 50–1000 Pa, and 1000–3000 Pa, respectively, presenting an approximate enhancement by 21−100 times when compared to that of a flat polydimethylsiloxane device. The nanocomposite dielectric layer also reveals an ultralow detection limit of 1.0 Pa, good stability, and durability after 4000 loading–unloading cycles, making it capable of perception of various human motions, such as finger bending, calligraphy writing, throat vibration, and airflow blowing. A proof-of-concept trial in hydrostatic water pressure sensing has been demonstrated with the proposed sensors, which can detect tiny changes in water pressure and may be helpful for underwater sensing research. This work brings out the efficacy of constructing wearable capacitive pressure sensors based on a porous dielectric hybrid with stress-sensitive nanostructures, providing wide prospective applications in wearable electronics, health monitoring, and smart artificial robotics/prosthetics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number256
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalNanomaterials
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Capacitive pressure sensor
  • Porous polydimethylsiloxane
  • Stress-sensitive
  • Wearable electronic
  • Zinc oxide nanowire

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