Transparent, Flexible, Conformal Capacitive Pressure Sensors with Nanoparticles

Hyeohn Kim, Gwangmook Kim, Taehoon Kim, Sangwoo Lee, Donyoung Kang, Min Soo Hwang, Youngcheol Chae, Shinill Kang, Hyungsuk Lee, Hong Gyu Park, Wooyoung Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


The fundamental challenge in designing transparent pressure sensors is the ideal combination of high optical transparency and high pressure sensitivity. Satisfying these competing demands is commonly achieved by a compromise between the transparency and usage of a patterned dielectric surface, which increases pressure sensitivity, but decreases transparency. Herein, a design strategy for fabricating high-transparency and high-sensitivity capacitive pressure sensors is proposed, which relies on the multiple states of nanoparticle dispersity resulting in enhanced surface roughness and light transmittance. We utilize two nanoparticle dispersion states on a surface: (i) homogeneous dispersion, where each nanoparticle (≈500 nm) with a size comparable to the visible light wavelength has low light scattering; and (ii) heterogeneous dispersion, where aggregated nanoparticles form a micrometer-sized feature, increasing pressure sensitivity. This approach is experimentally verified using a nanoparticle-dispersed polymer composite, which has high pressure sensitivity (1.0 kPa–1), and demonstrates excellent transparency (>95%). We demonstrate that the integration of nanoparticle-dispersed capacitor elements into an array readily yields a real-time pressure monitoring application and a fully functional touch device capable of acting as a pressure sensor-based input device, thereby opening up new avenues to establish processing techniques that are effective on the nanoscale yet applicable to macroscopic processing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1703432
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 22

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H.K. and G.K. contributed equally to this work. This research was supported by Engineering Research Center (2015R1A5A1037668) and Mid-career Researcher Program (2017R1A2B2009751) through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea. H.-G.P. acknowledges support by the NRF of Korea (2009-0081565).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • conformal sensors
  • flexible sensors
  • health monitoring
  • large-scale touch interfaces
  • nanoparticle-roughened dielectrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials


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