An ultra-sensitive and wide measuring range pressure sensor with paper-based CNT film/interdigitated structure

  • Chao Wang (王超)
  • Xiaojuan Hou (侯晓娟)
  • Min Cui (崔敏)
  • Junbin Yu (余俊斌)
  • Xueming Fan (范雪明)
  • Jichao Qian (钱冀超)
  • Jian He (何剑)
  • Wenping Geng (耿文平)
  • Jiliang Mu (穆继亮)
  • Xiujian Chou (丑修建)Email author


Flexible pressure sensors have attracted great attention due to their potential in the wearable devices market and in particular in human-machine interactive interfaces. Pressure sensors with high sensitivity, wide measurement range, and low-cost are now highly desired for such practical applications. In the present investigation, an ultrasensitive pressure sensor with wide measurement range has been successfully fabricated. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) (uniformly sprayed on the surface of paper) comprise the sensitivity material, while lithographed interdigital electrodes comprise the substrate. Due to the synergistic effects of CNT’s high specific surface area, paper’s porous structure, interdigital electrodes’ efficient contact with CNT, our pressure sensor realizes a wide measurement range from 0 to 140 kPa and exhibits excellent stability through 15,000 cycles of testing. For the paper-based CNT film/interdigitated structure (PCI) pressure sensor, the connection area between the sensitive material and interdigital electrodes dominates in the low-pressure region, while internal change within the sensitive materials plays the leading role in the high-pressure region. Additionally, the PCI pressure sensor not only displays a high sensitivity of 2.72 kPa−1 (up to 35 kPa) but also can detect low pressures, such as that exerted by a resting mung bean (about 8 Pa). When attached to the surface of a human body, the pressure sensor can monitor physiological signals, such as wrist movement, pulse beats, or movement of throat muscles. Furthermore, the pressure sensor array can identify the spatial pressure distribution, with promising applications in human-machine interactive interfaces.


carbon nanotube interdigital structure pressure sensors paper-based carbon nanotube (CNT) film ultrabroad measuring range 



摘要柔性压力传感器因其在可穿戴设备和人机交互界面中的潜 在应用而备受关注. 特别是在实际应用中, 人们对具有高灵敏度、 宽测量范围和低成本的压力传感器有很大需求. 基于此, 我们研制 出了一种测量范围宽的超灵敏压力传感器. 该传感器是以碳纳米 管 (CNT)均匀溶液直接喷在纸表面作为敏感材料, 用光刻技术制成 的叉指电极为结构. 由于CNT大的比表面积、纸的多孔结构以及 CNT与叉指电极有效接触的协同作用, 压力传感器实现了从0到 140 kPa的宽测量范围, 并在15,000个测试周期内表现出良好的稳 定性. 对于纸基碳纳米管薄膜/叉指状结构(PCI)压力传感器, 敏感 材料与叉指电极之间的连接区域在较小的压力范围内占主导地位, 而敏感材料的内部变化在大的压力区域起主导作用. 此外PCI压力 传感器不仅具有2.72 kPa−1(直到35 kPa)的高灵敏度, 还可以检测小 重量, 如一颗绿豆(约8 Pa). 当压力传感器贴附到人体表面时, 可以 监测生理信号, 如手腕运动、脉搏跳动和语音识别. 此外, 压力传感 器的阵列能够识别空间压力分布, 有望实际应用于人机交互界面.



The authors acknowledge the funding support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51605449, 51675493 and 51705476), and Shanxi “1331 Project” Key Subject Construction (1331KSC).

Author contributions

Wang C and Hou X designed the devices and experiments; Wang C, Hou X, Cui M, Yu J, and He J performed the experiments; Wang C, Fan X, Qian J, Geng W, and Mu J analyzed the data; Wang C wrote the paper with support from Hou X and Chou X. All authors contributed to the general discussion.

Supplementary material

40843_2019_1173_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (488 kb)
An Ultra-sensitive and Wide Measuring Range Pressure Sensor with Paper-Based CNT Film/Interdigitated Structure


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chao Wang (王超)
    • 1
  • Xiaojuan Hou (侯晓娟)
    • 1
  • Min Cui (崔敏)
    • 1
  • Junbin Yu (余俊斌)
    • 1
  • Xueming Fan (范雪明)
    • 1
  • Jichao Qian (钱冀超)
    • 1
  • Jian He (何剑)
    • 1
  • Wenping Geng (耿文平)
    • 1
  • Jiliang Mu (穆继亮)
    • 1
  • Xiujian Chou (丑修建)
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Science and Technology on Electronic Test and Measurement Laboratory, School of Instrument and ElectronicsNorth University of ChinaTaiyuanChina

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