Enhanced moisture-reactive hydrophilic-PTFE-based flexible humidity sensor for real-time monitoring

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Flexible sensors connected to cell phones are a promising technology that can aid in continuously monitoring signals in our daily lives, such as an individual’s health status and information from buildings, farms, and industry. Among such signals, real-time humidity monitoring is crucial to a comfortable life, as human bodies, plants, and industrial environments require appropriate humidity to be maintained. We propose a hydrophilic polytetrafluoroethylene (H-PTFE)-based flexible humidity sensor integrated with readout circuitry, wireless communication, and a mobile battery. To enhance its sensitivity, linearity, and reliability, treatment with sodium hydroxide implements additional hydroxyl (OH) groups, which further enhance the sensitivity, create a strong linearity with respect to variations in relative humidity, and produce a relatively free hysteresis. Furthermore, to create robust mechanical stability, cyclic upward bending was performed for up to 3000 cycles. The overall electrical and mechanical results demonstrate that the flexible real-time H-PTFE humidity sensor system is suitable for applications such as wearable smart devices.

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Sensors (Switzerland)

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