Integration of a Thin Film PDMS-Based Capacitive Sensor for Tactile Sensing in an Electronic Skin
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We present a capacitive force sensor based on a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) film integrated into a printed circuit board (PCB) on a flexible substrate whose layout is defined by inkjet printing. The influence of the dielectric thickness on the sensor behavior is presented. The thinner PDMS film of about 45 m shows a sensitivity of up to 3 pF/N but poorer dynamic response. The dielectrics with thicknesses above 200 m show a significantly reduced sensitivity. The best compromise between sensitivity and dynamic response is found for PDMS film of about 100 m, showing about 1.1 pF/N and less than 15 s of recovery time. This film is integrated into a flexible PCBS including a microcontroller capable of evaluating the sensor. Interconnects of the circuit are defined by silver nanoparticles deposited by inkjet printing. The working principle of the circuit is demonstrated, proving that this simple approach can be used for artificial skin applications.