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Proceedings Paper

Humidity micro switch based on humidity-sensitive polymers
Author(s): C. Bellmann; A. Steinke; T. Frank; G. Gerlach
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Paper Abstract

We present recent results on a binary threshold sensor based on the binary zero-power sensor (BIZEPS) platform which is able to use the energy provided directly from the measured relative humidity of the ambient air to mechanically switch an electrical micro contact. This zero-power switch behavior is realized by using the humidity-sensitive volume swelling of a polymer layer as the detection element deflecting a mechanically deformable silicon boss structure, thus closing the electrical contacts of the switch. For the humidity-sensitive sensor switch considered here, a humidity-sensitive hydrogel blend of poly(vinyl alcohol) and poly(acryl acid) was used. The sensitive part affected by the measurand is completely separated from the electrical part, thus providing long-term stability. By using an inverse silicone stamping technique the polymer layer with a thickness of about 15 μm was patterned on test structures possessing a thin silicon flexure plate of 5 mm x 5 mm in size and 20 μm in thickness. Reproducible deformations of up to 15 … 24 μm has been measured. Investigations of the swelling kinetics showed for several discrete relative humidity values a saturation of the water load. The time to reach this saturation state is reduced from 5 hours down to approx. 20 min by increasing the relative humidity beyond the threshold value of 70% r.H. A significant influence of the temperature to the humidity load could not be observed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2015
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9430, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015, 94302F (1 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2084179
Show Author Affiliations
C. Bellmann, Technische Univ. Dresden (Germany)
A. Steinke, CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik und Photovoltaik GmbH (Germany)
T. Frank, CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik und Photovoltaik GmbH (Germany)
G. Gerlach, Technische Univ. Dresden (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9430:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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