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Title: A direct-writing approach for fabrication of CNT/paper-based piezoresistive pressure sensors for airflow sensing
Authors: Chen, Jinyan
Tran, Van-Thai
Du, Hejun
Wang, Junshan
Chen, Chao
Keywords: Engineering::Mechanical engineering
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Chen, J., Tran, V., Du, H., Wang, J. & Chen, C. (2021). A direct-writing approach for fabrication of CNT/paper-based piezoresistive pressure sensors for airflow sensing. Micromachines, 12(5), 504-.
Journal: Micromachines
Abstract: Airflow sensor is a crucial component for monitoring environmental airflow conditions in many engineering fields, especially in the field of aerospace engineering. However, conventional airflow sensors have been suffering from issues such as complexity and bulk in structures, high cost in fabrication and maintenance, and low stability and durability. In this work, we developed a facile direct-writing method for fabricating a low-cost piezoresistive element aiming at high-performance airflow sensing, in which a commercial pen was utilized to drop solutions of single-walled carbon nanotubes onto tissue paper to form a piezoresistive sensing element. The encapsulated piezoresistive element was tested for electromechanical properties under two loading modes: one loading mode is the so-called pressure mode in which the piezoresistive element is pressed by a normal pressure, and another mode is the so-called bending mode in which the piezoresistive element is bended as a cantilever beam. Unlike many other developed airflow sensors among which the sensing elements are normally employed as cantilever beams for facing winds, we designed a fin structure to be incorporated with the piezoresistive element for airflow sensing; the main function of the fin is to face winds instead of the piezoresistive element, and subsequently transfer and enlarge the airflow pressure to the piezoresistive element for the normal pressure loading mode. With this design, the piezoresistive element can also be protected by avoiding experiencing large strains and direct contact with external airflows so that the stability and durability of the sensor can be maintained. Moreover, we experimentally found that the performance parameters of the airflow sensor could be effectively tuned by varying the size of the fin structure. When the fin sizes of the airflow sensors were 20 mm, 30 mm, and 40 mm, the detection limits and sensitivities of the fabricated airflow sensors were measured as 8.2 m/s, 6.2 m/s, 3.2 m/s, 0.0121 (m/s)⁻², 0.01657 (m/s)⁻², and 0.02264 (m/s)⁻², respectively. Therefore, the design of the fin structure could pave an easy way for adjusting the sensor performance without changing the sensor itself toward different application scenarios.
ISSN: 2072-666X
DOI: 10.3390/mi12050504
Schools: School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:MAE Journal Articles

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