Microstructured flexible sensors for wearable technologies

  • Author / Creator
    Fan, Shicheng
  • As common electronics in our daily life, various sensors have been frequently used in a diversity of applications like pressure sensors for weight scales and temperature sensors for thermometers. However, most traditional sensors are built on rigid substrates, and this restricts the usage of these sensors for many areas requiring flexible devices, such as invasive healthcare monitoring. Thus, there’s a need for developing flexible sensors on flexible and stretchable substrates, especially in emerging applications in internet-of-things. In this thesis, we proposed a new concept, digital microelectromechanical (MEM) sensors based on the insulating-to-conducting transition of devices through mechanical switching, for pressure and strain detection. By adding eco-friendly nanomaterials - cellulose nanocrystals, we greatly improved the response time of our MEM sensors. Furthermore, we optimized our fabrication process to integrate multiple sensors into one device employing polymer microelectromechanical systems. Many practical applications have been demonstrated using our sensors, from hand gesture detection to heart rate monitoring. We also showed that integrated flexible sensors have the potential to control robotic arms and gripping forces in handing physical objects.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2017-11:Fall 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Solid State Electronics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Xihua Wang (Electrical& Computer Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Sandipan Pramanik (Electrical& Computer Engineering)
    • Dr. Manisha Gupta (Electrical& Computer Engineering)