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Proceedings Paper

New perspectives for pressure and force sensors thin films combining high gauge factor and low TCR
Author(s): Guenter Schultes; Ralf Koppert; Dirk Goettel; Olivia Freitag-Weber; Anne C. Probst; Ulf Werner
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Paper Abstract

Metal containing carbon thin films can be prepared to exhibit piezoresistive properties with a high sensitivity to mechanical strain and with a temperature independent resistance. This unique combination of properties predisposes these films to be used in sensors for pressure, force, weight and torque. For the case of nickel containing carbon films (often termed as Ni containing hydrogenated amorphous carbon, shortly Ni:a-C:H) we are able to demonstrate a strain sensitivity (gauge factor) of approx. 20 together with a temperature coefficient of resistivity (TCR) below ±50 ppm/K in the wide temperature range of 100 K to 400 K. The sensitivity of our films is thus enhanced by a factor of 10 compared with standard metallic thin films in today's sensors. The films consist of crystalline nanoclusters of nickel with a diameter of 10 - 20 nm which are encapsulated by only few atomic layers of graphene (or turbostratic graphite) as revealed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These carbon encapsulated clusters are embedded in a matrix of carbon. The new type of films are named nanoNi@C i.e. nano-Nickel clusters encapsulated by carbon.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 May 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7362, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS IV, 73620W (18 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.820496
Show Author Affiliations
Guenter Schultes, HTW des Saarlandes (Germany)
Ralf Koppert, HTW des Saarlandes (Germany)
Dirk Goettel, HTW des Saarlandes (Germany)
Olivia Freitag-Weber, HTW des Saarlandes (Germany)
Anne C. Probst, HTW des Saarlandes (Germany)
Ulf Werner, Leibniz-Institut fuer Neue Materialien GmbH (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7362:
Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS IV
Ulrich Schmid, Editor(s)

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