Highly sensitive integrated pressure sensor with horizontally oriented carbon nanotube network
1 Nanoelectronics Lab, MIMOS Berhad, Technology Park Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 57000, Malaysia
2 School of Mechanical Engineering, USM Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang 14300, Malaysia
Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:49 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-49Published: 28 January 2014
This paper presents a functionalized, horizontally oriented carbon nanotube network as a sensing element to enhance the sensitivity of a pressure sensor. The synthesis of horizontally oriented nanotubes from the AuFe catalyst and their deposition onto a mechanically flexible substrate via transfer printing are studied. Nanotube formation on thermally oxidized Si (100) substrates via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition controls the nanotube coverage and orientation on the flexible substrate. These nanotubes can be simply transferred to the flexible substrate without changing their physical structure. When tested under a pressure range of 0 to 50 kPa, the performance of the fabricated pressure sensor reaches as high as approximately 1.68%/kPa, which indicates high sensitivity to a small change of pressure. Such sensitivity may be induced by the slight contact in isolated nanotubes. This nanotube formation, in turn, enhances the modification of the contact and tunneling distance of the nanotubes upon the deformation of the network. Therefore, the horizontally oriented carbon nanotube network has great potential as a sensing element for future transparent sensors.