Flexible and Pixelated Textile Pressure Sensor Fabricated with Weaving Techniques

Tuesday, 7 October 2014: 14:20
Expo Center, 1st Floor, Universal 10 (Moon Palace Resort)
J. Lee, H. Kwon, J. Seo, S. Shin, D. Kim, and T. Lee (Yonsei University)
Recently, electronic textiles (E-textiles) that integrate sensors, actuators and computers into fabrics have attracted considerable attention and several types of textile-based devices have been widely studied. E-textiles have been applied to effectively provide a wide range of information to the people like elderly and patients since they can be worn or embedded in clothing. Among several applications of E-textiles, pressure sensors have significant role to detect a person’s information such as locations, vital signals. In previous studies, textile-based pressure sensors have generally developed by weaving metal wires due to their simple structure and fabrication process, however, it is challenging to apply these pressure sensors on sophisticated devices due to their poor sensing ability.

This research proposes a novel method of fabricating highly sensitive textile-based pressure sensor that can be pixelated through weaving method. We first obtained highly flexible and conductive Kevlar fiber by coating a composite material of Ag nanoparticles and elastomeric polymer. Consequently poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) was coated on the surface of conductive fiber as a dielectric layer. Through weaving method, the PDMS-coated conductive fibers were woven into fabric to form highly sensitive capacitive pressure sensors located at crossed points of the fibers. The highly sensitive pressure sensor was pixelated in the form of arrays via weaving method. Finally, pressure sensors were applied to monitor detection of small vibration forces from music and impact of a bouncing water droplet on a superhydrophobic surface.