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Flexible piezoelectric pressure sensors using oriented aluminum nitride thin films prepared on polyethylene terephthalate films

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7 Author(s)
Akiyama, M. ; On-site Sensing and Diagnosis Research Laboratory, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 807-1 Shuku, Tosu, Saga 841-0052, Japan ; Morofuji, Yukari ; Kamohara, Toshihiro ; Nishikubo, Keiko
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We have investigated the high sensitive piezoelectric response of c-axis oriented aluminum nitride (AlN) thin films prepared on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films. The AlN films were deposited using a radio frequency magnetron sputtering method at temperatures close to room temperature. The c axes of the AlN films were perpendicularly oriented to the PET film surfaces. The sensor consisting of the AlN and PET films is flexible like PET films and the electrical charge is linearly proportional to the stress within a wide range from 0 to 8.5 MPa. The sensor can respond to the frequencies from 0.3 to over 100 Hz and measures a clear human pulse wave form by holding the sensor between thumb and middle finger. The resolution of the pulse wave form is comparable to a sphygmomanometer at stress levels of 10 kPa. We think that the origin of the high performance of the sensor is the deflection effect, the thin thickness and high elastic modulus of the AlN layer, and the thin thickness and low elastic modulus of the PET film.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:100 ,  Issue: 11 )