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Sensors 2016, 16(1), 55;

Bio-Inspired Stretchable Absolute Pressure Sensor Network

Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 350 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, 476 Lomita Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 440 Escondido Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 496 Lomita Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M.N. Passaro
Received: 6 November 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 2 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3260 KB, uploaded 5 January 2016]   |  


A bio-inspired absolute pressure sensor network has been developed. Absolute pressure sensors, distributed on multiple silicon islands, are connected as a network by stretchable polyimide wires. This sensor network, made on a 4’’ wafer, has 77 nodes and can be mounted on various curved surfaces to cover an area up to 0.64 m × 0.64 m, which is 100 times larger than its original size. Due to Micro Electro-Mechanical system (MEMS) surface micromachining technology, ultrathin sensing nodes can be realized with thicknesses of less than 100 µm. Additionally, good linearity and high sensitivity (~14 mV/V/bar) have been achieved. Since the MEMS sensor process has also been well integrated with a flexible polymer substrate process, the entire sensor network can be fabricated in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner. Moreover, an accurate pressure contour can be obtained from the sensor network. Therefore, this absolute pressure sensor network holds significant promise for smart vehicle applications, especially for unmanned aerial vehicles. View Full-Text
Keywords: stretchable network; absolute pressure sensor; MEMS; smart skin stretchable network; absolute pressure sensor; MEMS; smart skin

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Guo, Y.; Li, Y.-H.; Guo, Z.; Kim, K.; Chang, F.-K.; Wang, S.X. Bio-Inspired Stretchable Absolute Pressure Sensor Network. Sensors 2016, 16, 55.

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