A Highly Stretchable Capacitive-Based Strain Sensor Based on Metal Deposition and Laser Rastering

Atalay O., Atalay A., Gafford J., Wang H., Wood R., Walsh C.

ADVANCED MATERIALS TECHNOLOGIES, vol.2, no.9, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/admt.201700081
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: capacitive sensors, laser rastering, soft strain sensors, sputtering, surface microtreatment, SOFT, ELECTRONICS, FABRICATION, INTERCONNECTS, FILMS
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Wearable sensing technology is an emerging area and can be utilized for human motion monitoring, physiology monitoring, and human-machine interaction. In this paper, a new manufacturing approach is presented to create highly stretchable and soft capacitance-based strain sensors. This involves a rapid surface modification technique based on direct-write laser rastering to create microstructured surfaces on prestrained elastomeric sheets. Then, to impart conductivity, sputtering technology is utilized to deposit aluminum and silver metal layers on the bottom and top surfaces of the elastomer sheet, creating a soft capacitor. During benchtop characterization of the sensors, this study demonstrates that the fabricated electrodes maintain their electrical conductivity up to the 250% strain, and the sensor shows a linear and repeatable output up to 85% strain. Finally, their potential is demonstrated for monitoring human motion and respiration through their integration into a wearable arm sleeve and a thoracic belt, respectively.