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Proceedings Paper

Variable deflection response of sensitive CNT-on-fiber artificial hair sensors from CNT synthesis in high aspect ratio microcavities
Author(s): Keith Slinker; Matthew R. Maschmann; Corey Kondash; Benjamin Severin; David Phillips; Benjamin T. Dickinson; Gregory Reich; Jeff Baur
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Paper Abstract

Crickets, locusts, bats, and many other animals detect changes in their environment with distributed arrays of flow-sensitive hairs. Here we discuss the fabrication and characterization of a relatively new class of pore-based, artificial hair sensors that take advantage of the mechanical properties of structural microfibers and the electromechanical properties of self-aligned carbon nanotube arrays to rapidly transduce changes in low speed air flow. The radially aligned nanotubes are able to be synthesized along the length of the fibers inside the high aspect ratio cavity between the fiber surface and the wall of a microcapillary pore. The growth self-positions the fibers within the capillary and forms a conductive path between detection electrodes. As the hair is deflected, nanotubes are compressed to produce a typical resistance change of 1-5% per m/s of air speed which we believe are the highest sensitivities reported for air velocities less than 10 m/s. The quasi-static response of the sensors to point loads is compared to that from the distributed loads of air flow. A plane wave tube is used to measure their dynamic response when perturbed at acoustic frequencies. Correlation of the nanotube height profile inside the capillary to a diffusion transport model suggests that the nanotube arrays can be controllably tapered along the fiber. Like their biological counterparts, many applications can be envisioned for artificial hair sensors by tailoring their individual response and incorporating them into arrays for detecting spatio-temporal flow patterns over rigid surfaces such as aircraft.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 March 2015
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 9429, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2015, 942917 (26 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2085568
Show Author Affiliations
Keith Slinker, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Universal Technology Corp. (United States)
Matthew R. Maschmann, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Universal Technology Corp. (United States)
Univ. of Missouri (United States)
Corey Kondash, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Universal Technology Corp. (United States)
Benjamin Severin, Federal Republic of Germany Liaison Office for Defense Material USA/Canada (United States)
Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
David Phillips, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Univ. of Dayton (United States)
Benjamin T. Dickinson, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Gregory Reich, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Jeff Baur, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9429:
Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2015
Akhlesh Lakhtakia; Mato Knez; Raúl J. Martín-Palma, Editor(s)

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