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Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 7;7(1):10854. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11217-w.

Stretchable Dual-Capacitor Multi-Sensor for Touch-Curvature-Pressure-Strain Sensing.

Author information

1
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Physics, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea.
3
Samsung Display Giheung Campus, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, 17113, Republic of Korea.
4
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea. bien@unist.ac.kr.
5
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea. kibogpark@unist.ac.kr.
6
Department of Physics, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea. kibogpark@unist.ac.kr.

Abstract

We introduce a new type of multi-functional capacitive sensor that can sense several different external stimuli. It is fabricated only with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) films and silver nanowire electrodes by using selective oxygen plasma treatment method without photolithography and etching processes. Differently from the conventional single-capacitor multi-functional sensors, our new multi-functional sensor is composed of two vertically-stacked capacitors (dual-capacitor). The unique dual-capacitor structure can detect the type and strength of external stimuli including curvature, pressure, strain, and touch with clear distinction, and it can also detect the surface-normal directionality of curvature, pressure, and touch. Meanwhile, the conventional single-capacitor sensor has ambiguity in distinguishing curvature and pressure and it can detect only the strength of external stimulus. The type, directionality, and strength of external stimulus can be determined based on the relative capacitance changes of the two stacked capacitors. Additionally, the logical flow reflected on a tree structure with its branches reaching the direction and strength of the corresponding external stimulus unambiguously is devised. This logical flow can be readily implemented in the sensor driving circuit if the dual-capacitor sensor is commercialized actually in the future.

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