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Photolithographic structuring of stretchable conductors and sub-kPa pressure sensors

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Computer Science Research Institute Environmental Sciences Research Institute Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials Research Institute

Tuinea-Bobe, C, Lemoine, P, Manzoor, MU, Tweedie, M, D'Sa, R, Wallace, E and Gehin, C (2011) Photolithographic structuring of stretchable conductors and sub-kPa pressure sensors. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 21 (11). p. 115010. [Journal article]

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DOI: doi:10.1088/0960-1317/21/11/115010

Abstract

This paper presents a novel method to prepare stretchable conductors and pressure sensors based on the gold/polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) system. The gold films were sputtered onto structured PDMS surfaces produced with a photolithographic surface treatment with the aim of reducing tensile strains in the gold film. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy analyses showed that these 3D patterns reduce cracks and delaminations in the gold film. Electrical measurements indicate that the patterns also protect the films against repeated tensile cycling, although the un-patterned samples remained conducting as well after the completion of 120 cycles. The extrapolated resistivity value of the patterned sample (4.5 × 10−5 Ωcm) compares well with previously published data. SEM micrographs indicate that the pattern features deflect the cracks and therefore toughen the gold film. However, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and contact angle analyses indicate that the patterning process also slightly modifies the surface chemistry. This patterning method was used to prepare capacitive strain gauges with pressure sensitivity (ΔZ/Z)/P of 0.14 kPa−1 in the sub-kPa regime. Such stretchable and potentially conformal low-pressure sensors have not been produced before and could prove advantageous for many smart fabric applications.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Computing & Engineering
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Computing & Engineering > School of Engineering
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > Ulster Sports Academy
Research Institutes and Groups:Engineering Research Institute
Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute
Engineering Research Institute > Nanotechnology & Integrated BioEngineering Centre (NIBEC)
Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute > Centre for Sports Science and Sports Medicine
ID Code:20352
Deposited By:Dr Patrick Lemoine
Deposited On:27 Oct 2011 10:22
Last Modified:14 Sep 2012 10:03

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