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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Xuefeng Zhang, Yulong Zhao and Xuelei Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to provide a thin tactile force sensor array based on conductive rubber and to offer descriptions of the sensor design, fabrication and test.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a thin tactile force sensor array based on conductive rubber and to offer descriptions of the sensor design, fabrication and test.

Design/methodology/approach

The sensor array consists of a sandwich structure. Sensing elements are distributed discretely in the sensor. Each sensing element has two electrodes and a piece of conductive rubber with piezoresistive property. The electrodes, as well as the conductive trace for signal transmission, are printed on the substrate layer by the screen printing technique. A scanning circuit based on zero potential method and an experimental set‐up based on balance to characterize the sensor array are designed and implemented in the test of the sensor array.

Findings

Experimental results verify the validity of the sensor array in measuring the vertical tactile force between the sensing elements and the object.

Research limitations/implications

In this paper, all the sensors are tested without calibration procedures and the procedure of the dynamic test is implemented by manual operation.

Practical implications

The sensor array could be applied to measure the plantar force for gait detection in clinical applications.

Originality/value

The paper presents a tactile force sensor array with discrete sensing elements to essentially restrict the cross‐talk among sensing elements. This paper will provide many practical details that can help others in the field.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2018

Ryszard Pawlak, Marcin Lebioda, Mariusz Tomczyk, Jacek Rymaszewski, Ewa Korzeniewska and Maria Walczak

Passive conducting elements are the important parts of textronic systems. This paper aims to study a possibility of creating well-conducting and durable elements in…

Abstract

Purpose

Passive conducting elements are the important parts of textronic systems. This paper aims to study a possibility of creating well-conducting and durable elements in textile materials by combining two technologies – physical vapour deposition (PVD) and laser patterning.

Design/methodology/approach

Thin conducting metallic layers on common fabrics do not provide satisfactory resistance to bending and stretching; therefore, selected textile composite materials have been proposed as a substrate. The conducting elements were produced in two stage process – deposition of thin metallic layer on textile composite and creating conducting elements by laser patterning. Laser ablation process was optimized using modelling in Comsol Multiphysics package. Properties of conducting structures were investigated experimentally and by modelling.

Findings

This paper confirms the correctness of the choice of the textile composite as a substrate for conducting elements. The results have shown that combining PVD deposition of thin metallic layer and controlled laser ablation allow creating passive elements such as resistors, inductive coils and heaters. Computer simulations conducted in the Comsol Multihysics environment enabled to determine the temperature distribution around the heaters and to describe the dynamics of its changes. The obtained results allow to shorten time of the optimization process of structures with different geometry and assumed temperature distribution.

Originality/value

The novelty of this research can be summarized as following: choosing of textile composites as substrates for conductive elements instead of textiles used so far in textronics; creating conductive structures on textile composites using combined technologies, PVD and laser patterning, for the first time; modelling of laser ablation process of thin metallic layer; and optimization of properties of conducting elements by computer modelling.

Details

COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0332-1649

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1993

P. Soszek

Two new technologies are described for manufacturing circuitry commonly used in printed circuit boards (PCBs), multi‐chip modules (MCMs), hybrid circuits and other…

Abstract

Two new technologies are described for manufacturing circuitry commonly used in printed circuit boards (PCBs), multi‐chip modules (MCMs), hybrid circuits and other applications. Both processes involve the additive use of dry conductive powders which are in the micron and sub‐micron size range. Various conductive powders, such as copper, can be used. In addition, custom powder formulations to create resistive circuit elements can now be used during the same fabrication operations. The two new processes offer significant advantages over current methods. The laser in combination with sub‐micron powders allows extremely fine circuit lines and spaces to be written. Line widths of 1 mil (25 microns) can be produced. Three‐dimensional surfaces can have circuitry fabricated on them using both process methods. Lasers allow for a higher degree of accuracy, repeatability and product yield than currently experienced within the industry. Line widths and thicknesses can be software controlled and in real time. The processes do not use resists, etching or wet chemicals, thus providing substantial savings due to fewer process steps and the elimination of wet chemical handling and disposal, which is of mounting environmental concern. Use of clean process water is not required, which is an issue of cost and supply, especially in drought‐ridden areas. Very little waste is generated with the new processes as they are additive and unused powder can be reused. The first process utilises a laser to write the circuit lines on the substrate directly from a CAD/CAM database. No artwork is required for production purposes. All existing software can be used for inputting and driving the process equipment. In the process, a film of heat‐activated adhesive is laid on a substrate on top of which a layer of conductive powder is placed. The low‐power laser defines the circuitry by activating the powder and adhesive. Powder which is not activated is removed and reused. Applications include prototype production for the rapid turnaround of product to design engineers. The second process uses technology similar to that used in desktop laser printers. Instead of using toner and paper, conductive powder particles are deposited directly onto a substrate to create circuitry. The transfer and deposition of the powder are performed electrostatically and employ the same principles used in a photocopier. This allows for high volume production, with manufacturing times measured in seconds and minutes. CAD/CAM systems can be used directly; the equipment can be desk‐sized and is capable of operating in an office or laboratory environment. This yields savings on expensive custom facilities. Desktop manufacturing of circuitry using these new patented processes is within sight.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2019

Prisca Aude Eutionnat-Diffo, Yan Chen, Jinping Guan, Aurélie Cayla, Christine Campagne, Xianyi Zeng and Vincent Nierstrasz

This paper aims to evaluate and simulate the impact of the build platform temperature of the three-dimensional (3D) printer, the structure and heat transfer of textiles on…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate and simulate the impact of the build platform temperature of the three-dimensional (3D) printer, the structure and heat transfer of textiles on the adhesion and durability after washing properties of 3D printed polymer onto textile materials using thin layers of conductive and non-conductive extruded poly lactic acid monofilaments (PLA) deposited on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) woven fabrics through fused deposition modeling (FDM) process.

Design/methodology/approach

Prior to FDM process, thermal conductivity, surface roughness and mean pore size of PET woven fabrics were assessed using the “hot disk,” the profilometer and the capillary flow porometry methods, respectively. After the FDM process, the adhesion and durability after the washing process properties of the materials were determined and optimized based on reliable statistical models connecting those properties to the textile substrate properties such as surface roughness, mean pore size and thermal conductivity.

Findings

The main findings point out that higher roughness coefficient and mean pore size and lower thermal conductivity of polyester woven textile materials improve the adhesion properties and the build platform presents a quadratic effect. Additionally, the adhesion strength decreases by half after the washing process and rougher and more porous textile structures demonstrate better durability. These results are explained by the surface topography of textile materials that define the anchorage areas between the printed layer and the textiles.

Originality/value

This study is for great importance in the development of smart textiles using FDM process as it presents unique and reliable models used to optimize adhesion resistance of 3D printed PLA primary layer onto PET textiles.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 July 2020

Milena Kiliszkiewicz, Dariusz Przybylski, Jan Felba and Ryszard Korbutowicz

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the individual steps during the printing of capacitor structures. The method of substrate preparation, the obtained roughness of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the individual steps during the printing of capacitor structures. The method of substrate preparation, the obtained roughness of conductive and dielectric layers are examined. Moreover, the capacitances of the obtained capacitors were examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Surface roughness and microscopic analysis were used to assess the quality of printed conductive structures. Two criteria were used to assess the quality of printed dielectric structures: the necessary lack of discontinuity of layers and minimal roughness. To determine the importance of printing parameters, a draft experimental method was proposed.

Findings

The optimal way to clean the substrate has been determined. The most important parameters for the dielectric layer (i.e. drop-space, table temperature, curing time and temperature) were found.

Research limitations/implications

If dielectric layers are printed correctly, most problems with printing complex electronic structures (transistors, capacitors) will be eliminated.

Practical implications

The tests performed identified the most important factors for dielectric layers. Using them, capacitors of repeatable capacity were printed.

Originality/value

In the literature on this subject, no factors were found which were responsible for obtaining homogeneous dielectric layers.

Details

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-0911

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2018

Yung Sin Chong, Keat Hoe Yeoh, Pei Ling Leow and Pei Song Chee

This paper aims to report a stretchable piezoresistive strain sensor array that can detect various static and dynamic stimuli, including bending, normal force, shear…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report a stretchable piezoresistive strain sensor array that can detect various static and dynamic stimuli, including bending, normal force, shear stress and certain range of temperature variation, through sandwiching an array of conductive blocks, made of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composite. The strain sensor array induces localized resistance changes at different external mechanical forces, which can be potentially implemented as electronic skin.

Design/methodology/approach

The working principle is the piezoresistivity of the strain sensor array is based on the tunnelling resistance connection between the fillers and reformation of the percolating path when the PDMS and MWCNT composite deforms. When an external compression stimulus is exerted, the MWCNT inter-filler distance at the conductive block array reduces, resulting in the reduction of the resistance. The resistance between the conductive blocks in the array, on the other hand, increases when the strain sensor is exposed to an external stretching force. The methodology was as follows: Numerical simulation has been performed to study the pressure distribution across the sensor. This method applies two thin layers of conductive elastomer composite across a 2 × 3 conductive block array, where the former is to detect the stretchable force, whereas the latter is to detect the compression force. The fabrication of the strain sensor consists of two main stages: fabricating the conducting block array (detect compression force) and depositing two thin conductive layers (detect stretchable force).

Findings

Characterizations have been performed at the sensor pressure response: static and dynamic configuration, strain sensing and temperature sensing. Both pressure and strain sensing are studied in terms of the temporal response. The temporal response shows rapid resistance changes and returns to its original value after the external load is removed. The electrical conductivity of the prototype correlates to the temperature by showing negative temperature coefficient material behaviour with the sensitivity of −0.105 MΩ/°C.

Research limitations/implications

The conductive sensor array can potentially be implemented as electronic skin due to its reaction with mechanical stimuli: compression and stretchable pressure force, strain sensing and temperature sensing.

Originality/value

This prototype enables various static and dynamic stimulus detections, including bending, normal force, shear stress and certain range of temperature variation, through sandwiching an array of conductive blocks, made of MWCNT and PDMS composite. Conventional design might need to integrate different microfeatures to perform the similar task, especially for dynamic force sensing.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Peter Lukacs, Alena Pietrikova and Pavol Cabuk

The purpose of this paper is to find optimal sintering conditions of silver-based nano-inks for achieving the high electrical conductivity of the deposited layers applied…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to find optimal sintering conditions of silver-based nano-inks for achieving the high electrical conductivity of the deposited layers applied on polyimide foils as well as the influence of ageing on the electrical conductivity. Therefore, the investigation in the field of silver layers deposited by inkjet printing technology is presented in this paper.

Design/methodology/approach

The four-point resistance measurements were realized for a detailed and precise analysis of the resistance of two different silver layers under different sintering conditions depending on the type of nano-ink varied about the recommended values. Highly accelerated stress tests (HASTs) were also applied as an ageing method for confirmation of the high electrical stability of the silver layers.

Findings

The results prove the strong influence of the temperature and the time of the sintering process on the sheet resistance of the investigated silver-based layers deposited by inkjet printing technology on polyimide foils. The HASTs caused significant changes in the electrical conductivity for both nano-inks presented in this paper. The existence of noticeable dependence among the resistivity, thermal treatment and ageing was proved.

Originality/value

The main benefit lays in the optimization of sintering conditions to improve the electrical conductivity of the silver layers. The paper also presents a new approach for a stability analysis of the silver layers by HASTs.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2012

Yidong Zhang and Weiwei He

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the I‐V characteristics of ZnO film on Si substrates with Ag buffer layer by conductive atomic force (C‐AFM).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the I‐V characteristics of ZnO film on Si substrates with Ag buffer layer by conductive atomic force (C‐AFM).

Design/methodology/approach

An Ag buffer layer and Zn film was first deposited on silicon substrate by RF‐sputtering deposition method from high pure Ag and Zn target, respectively. Then, the deposited film was sintered in air at 500°C for 1 h.

Findings

The structures and morphologies of the prepared films were characterized by X‐ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive spectrum (EDS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and C‐AFM. The results show that the prepared ZnO films with Ag buffer layer have a good crystallinity and surface morphology. Interestingly, the I‐V curve of ZnO film exhibited typical characteristics of semi‐conductive oxide under the conductive Ag buffer layer.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates, by C‐AFM, that the ZnO/Ag‐buffer/Si exhibits excellent crystal structure, morphology and typical I‐V characteristics.

Details

Microelectronics International, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-5362

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Zengxi Pan and Zhenqi Zhu

This paper aims to design a new full‐body tactile sensor which is essential for the application of personal service robot similar to human skin.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to design a new full‐body tactile sensor which is essential for the application of personal service robot similar to human skin.

Design/methodology/approach

The largest difficulty for designing a full‐body tactile sensor is the huge number of output connections. The sensor introduced in this paper is a special multi‐layer structure, which could minimize the output connections while sensing both the position and force information. Since it is made of conductive and non‐conductive textiles, the sensor could be used to cover the curved surface of robot body.

Findings

With better structure design, output connectors and signal measurement times could be dramatically reduced.

Research limitations/implications

Sensor area and performance are limited by the sensitivity of the measurement circuits.

Originality/value

Introduces an innovate design of full‐body tactile sensor.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1992

P.V. Natarajan, D.G. Vaiude and B.M. Rao

This paper concerns an all‐solid‐state, high‐contrast electroluminescent (EL) flat panel display which is becoming the potential for multifunctional avionic displays. In…

Abstract

This paper concerns an all‐solid‐state, high‐contrast electroluminescent (EL) flat panel display which is becoming the potential for multifunctional avionic displays. In this ACTFEL (a.c. thin film electroluminescent flat panel) device, an active layer, doped with manganese (ZnS:Mn) is sandwiched between the two dielectric layers followed by conductive layers. All the layers are transparent except the back conductive layer. In the basic mode of operation, an alternating voltage is applied across any two crossing electrodes. When this voltage exceeds the ‘threshold voltage’, light is emitted from the active layer. EL mechanism (the generation of electrons, acceleration of these electrons to optical energies, and collision excitation of the Mn ions yielding light emission) occurs within the film or at the surface of the ZnS:Mn layer. A bright yellow light, in the visible region and with a relatively broad spectrum, is emitted. The TFEL display's thinness, compactness, low weight, moderately low power requirements and durability are its prime advantages. The characteristics of various thin films utilised in TFEL have been studied, and the data in this paper show the optimum requirements for luminance, efficiency and reliability of the light emission in ACTFEL.

Details

Microelectronics International, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-5362

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