Textile-based pressure sensor arrays: A novel scalable manufacturing technique


Gumus C., Özlem K., Khalilbayli F., Erzurumluoglu O. F. , İnce G., Atalay Ö., ...More

MICRO AND NANO ENGINEERING, vol.15, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.mne.2022.100140
  • Journal Name: MICRO AND NANO ENGINEERING
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: Capacitive pressure sensors, Smart textiles, E-textiles, Textile-based sensors, Gesture recognition, Interactive devices
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Soft pressure sensors have sparked a lot of interest over the last decade because of their applications in human motion recognition, object detection, and human-computer interaction. However, their mass production and availability to end users are limited due to the complex and time-consuming steps. The scalability of working range for various applications is also a critical challenge. Therefore, a laborless, rapid, and scalable manufacturing technique for capacitive-based soft pressure sensors with high sensitivity and high working range is proposed in this work. The novel manufacturing method enables manipulation of sensor properties by varying production parameters based on specific application needs. The proposed sensor's electrode is made of conductive knit fabric, and the dielectric layers are made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) sheets. As a result of the novel approach, it is possible to generate scalable air gaps between electrodes and dielectric layers to capture low pressures of less than 1 kPa. The usage of multi-layer TPU sheets also increases the working range of sensors up to 1000 kPa. Here, the proposed technology is successfully applied to create several sensor mats for different purposes such as improved gesture and shape recognition, and interactive gaming mats for children.