Next Article in Journal
Z-Axis Micromachined Tuning Fork Gyroscope with Low Air Damping
Previous Article in Journal
Suspended Graphene-Based Gas Sensor with 1-mW Energy Consumption
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Micromachines 2017, 8(2), 41;

Design, Manufacture and Testing of Capacitive Pressure Sensors for Low-Pressure Measurement Ranges

MicroSystems Engineering Centre (MISEC), School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
School of Textiles & Design, Heriot-Watt University, Galashiels, TD7 4LF, UK
Queen’s Medical Research Institute, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH16 4TJ, UK
Institute for Integrated Micro & Nano Systems (IMNS), School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3FF, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 December 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 1 February 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [5097 KB, uploaded 13 February 2017]   |  


This article presents the design, manufacture and testing of a capacitive pressure sensor with a high, tunable performance to low compressive loads (<10 kPa) and a resolution of less than 0.5 kPa. Such a performance is required for the monitoring of treatment efficacy delivered by compression garments to treat or prevent medical conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, leg ulcers, varicose veins or hypertrophic scars. Current commercial sensors used in such medical applications have been found to be either impractical, costly or of insufficient resolution. A microstructured elastomer film of a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) blend with a tunable Young’s modulus was used as the force-sensing dielectric medium. The resulting 18 mm × 18 mm parallel-plate capacitive pressure sensor was characterised in the range of 0.8 to 6.5 kPa. The microstructuring of the surface morphology of the elastomer film combined with the tuning of the Young’s modulus of the PDMS blend is demonstrated to enhance the sensor performance achieving a 0.25 kPa pressure resolution and a 10 pF capacitive change under 6.5 kPa compressive load. The resulting sensor holds good potential for the targeted medical application. View Full-Text
Keywords: pressure sensor; capacitive sensing; polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS); tunable sensitivity. pressure sensor; capacitive sensing; polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS); tunable sensitivity.

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Mitrakos, V.; Macintyre, L.; Denison, F.C.; Hands, P.J.; Desmulliez, M.P. Design, Manufacture and Testing of Capacitive Pressure Sensors for Low-Pressure Measurement Ranges. Micromachines 2017, 8, 41.

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