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Inkjet printed all-polymer flexural plate wave sensors

Publication Type:

Journal Article


IEEE Sensors Special Issue on Flexible Sensors and Sensing Systems, Volume 13, Issue 10, p.4005-4013 (2013)


We discuss the fabrication and performance of an all-polymer, flexural plate wave gravimetric sensor using flexible, piezoelectric Polyvinylidene fluoride as the substrate and an inkjet-printed interdigital transducer (IDT) employing conductive poly(3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene) poly(styrenesulfonate) to excite Lamb waves within the film. Lamb waves are measured both electronically, using a second IDT, and mapped directly using a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer. Pulsed wave excitation is utilized to isolate the weak acoustic signal from the electromagnetic crosstalk, enabling the measurement of relative changes in the resonant frequency, Δf/f0, in response to added mass, Δm, to the sensing area. A gravimetric mass sensitivity equivalent to Δf/(f0Δm)=-153 cm2/g is measured by mass loading the sensor with printed polymer layers. It is found that the low stiffness of the substrate contributes significantly to the response of the sensor, yielding a measured overall sensitivity of Δf/(f0Δm)=-83 cm2/g.

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Sensors and Actuators