Next Article in Journal
The Multitasking System of Swarm Robot based on Null-Space-Behavioral Control Combined with Fuzzy Logic
Next Article in Special Issue
A Paper-Based Piezoelectric Accelerometer
Previous Article in Journal
Analysis of Membrane Behavior of a Normally Closed Microvalve Using a Fluid-Structure Interaction Model
Previous Article in Special Issue
Rethinking the Design of Low-Cost Point-of-Care Diagnostic Devices
Article Menu
Issue 12 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Arrayed Force Sensors Made of Paper, Elastomer, and Hydrogel Particles

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers University, 98 Brett Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2017, 8(12), 356;
Received: 6 September 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paper-Based Transducers and Electronics)
PDF [3450 KB, uploaded 8 December 2017]


This article presents a sensor for detecting the distribution of forces on a surface. The device with nine buttons consisted of an elastomer-based layer as a touch interface resting on a substrate of patterned metallized paper. The elastomer-based layer included a three-by-three array of deformable, hemispherical elements/reliefs, facing down toward an array of interdigitated capacitive sensing units on patterned metallized paper. Each hemispherical element is 20 mm in diameter and 8 mm in height. When a user applied pressure to the elastomer-based layer, the contact area between the hemispherical elements and the interdigitated capacitive sensing units increased with the deformation of the hemispherical elements. To enhance the sensitivity of the sensors, embedded particles of hydrogel in the elastomer-based layer increased the measured electrical responses. The measured capacitance increased because the effective dielectric permittivity of the hydrogel was greater than that of air. Electromechanical characterization verified that the hydrogel-filled elastomer was more sensitive to force at a low range of loads (23.4 pF/N) than elastomer alone without embedded hydrogel (3.4 pF/N), as the hydrogel reduced the effective elastic modulus of the composite material by a factor of seven. A simple demonstration suggests that the force-sensing array has the potential to contribute to wearable and soft robotic devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic skin; paper-based electronics; force sensor; hydrogel; elastomer electronic skin; paper-based electronics; force sensor; hydrogel; elastomer

Figure 1

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).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zou, X.; Liang, T.; Lopez, N.; Ahmed, M.; Ajayan, A.; Mazzeo, A.D. Arrayed Force Sensors Made of Paper, Elastomer, and Hydrogel Particles. Micromachines 2017, 8, 356.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Micromachines EISSN 2072-666X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top