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Analysis of a concentric coplanar capacitive sensor for nondestructive evaluation of multi-layered dielectric structures

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2 Author(s)
Tianming Chen ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA, USA ; Bowler, N.

A concentric coplanar capacitive sensor is analyzed for the quantitative characterization of material properties for multi-layered dielectrics. The sensor output signal, transcapacitance CT, is related to the thickness and dielectric constant of each layer of the material under test. Electrostatic Green¿s functions due to point charges over different dielectric structures are derived utilizing the Hankel transform given the cylindrical symmetry of the proposed sensor. Numerical implementations based on the Green's functions are presented. The sensor electrodes are divided into a number of circular filaments, and the sensor surface charge distribution is then calculated using the method of moments (MoM). From the sensor surface charge, CT is calculated. Numerical calculations on sensor optimization are conducted and show that normalized CT as a function of sensor configuration is determined solely by its own relative dimensions, regardless of the overall dimensions of the sensor. In addition, calculations indicate how the sensor can be optimized for sensitivity to changes in core permittivity of a three-layer test-piece such as an aircraft radome. Benchmark experiment results are provided for one, two-, and three-layer test-pieces and very good agreement with calculated CT is observed. The sensor is also applied to water ingression measurements in a sandwich structure resembling the aircraft radome, in which the water-injected area can be successfully detected from the sensor output signal.

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Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 4 )