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Polymeric Sensors

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019) | Viewed by 41253

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering (DIEEI), University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: artificial intelligence; neural networks; soft sensors; ionic polymeric transducers; sensor modelling and characterization; mechanical sensors; energy harvesting; smart materials; smart sensing systems
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our society is changing quickly because of the many endogenous and exogenous inputs. As a consequence, novel systems are required to increase our capability to monitor and act on the surrounding environment. It is possible to envisage that, in the coming years, smart systems will be developed to cope with this new need.

Regarding the new challenges imposed by the internal changes in society, it is enough to consider that Western society is undergoing a deep aging phenomenon. Old and/or elderly people will need artificial systems to check their levels of comfort or the sudden rise in the need of assistance so that better conditions for the lives of older adults can be assured. This will be possible if ICT-based products, services, and systems are developed. Such systems will increase the quality of life of elderly people and will reduce the costs of health and social care.

Another relevant field of application of smart systems will be health monitoring of human heritage and large structures. Our society recognizes the fundamental role played by human heritage as part of our identities. Nevertheless, human heritage largely consists of very fragile buildings and/or natural environments that need continuous monitoring to control the adverse effects produced by human presence and/or climate changes. The same need is shared by the surveillance of strategic structures that are the basis of modern society. Mobility structures (such as airports, railroads, motorways) and facility infrastructure (such as freshwater reservoirs, oil pipes, communication systems) need to be constantly monitored against accidents. Last but not least, many such systems could be the objects of terrorist attacks, with dramatic, and even irreversible, consequences for our safety and quality of life.

Smart systems require embedding sensing and actuating capabilities, signal processing, and electric power generation and management. Flexibility, stretchability, and resiliency are required since smart systems will work in unstructured and harsh environments. Moreover, there is also a need for ubiquitous smart systems, required for developing sustainable, environmentally-friendly systems. Biocompatible systems are required for implanted applications.

"More than Moore" solutions will complement silicon-based devices: New materials are needed for guaranteeing a significant diversification. Suitable production schemes are needed for allowing prosumers to develop their own systems. Polymeric sensing systems will play a relevant role in the development of smart systems. Though polymers have been already proposed for accumulating and harvesting energy, realizing electronic devices and obtaining energy transduction, proposed systems are, generally ungreen or based on discrete elements. There is the need for fully integrated sensing systems. New technologies are required for fabricating autonomous integrated smart sensing systems. The development of new materials is necessary for obtaining greener devices that can be easily recycled or disposed of. The realization of next generation composites requires, then, the development of new materials, models, and production procedures, functional subsystems, design tools, and fabrication systems.

Dr. Salvatore Graziani
Prof. Dr. Maria Gabriella Xibilia
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • polymeric sensors
  • smart sensing systems
  • nanocomposites
  • green chemistry
  • eco friendly materials
  • biocompatible materials
  • additive manufacturing
  • inkjet printing
  • multiplysic models
  • IoT
  • medicine
  • nanomedicine
  • aerospace
  • cultural heritage
  • infrastructures
  • robotics
  • bio-inspired robotics
  • smart systems
  • power harvesting

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 4257 KiB  
Article
Green Energy Harvester from Vibrations Based on Bacterial Cellulose
by Carlo Trigona, Salvatore Graziani, Giovanna Di Pasquale, Antonino Pollicino, Rossella Nisi and Antonio Licciulli
Sensors 2020, 20(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20010136 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3001
Abstract
A bio-derived power harvester from mechanical vibrations is here proposed. The harvester aims at using greener fabrication technologies and reducing the dependence from carbon-based fossil energy sources. The proposed harvester consists mainly of biodegradable matters. It is based on bacterial cellulose, produced by [...] Read more.
A bio-derived power harvester from mechanical vibrations is here proposed. The harvester aims at using greener fabrication technologies and reducing the dependence from carbon-based fossil energy sources. The proposed harvester consists mainly of biodegradable matters. It is based on bacterial cellulose, produced by some kind of bacteria, in a sort of bio-factory. The cellulose is further impregnated with ionic liquids and covered with conducting polymers. Due to the mechanoelectrical transduction properties of the composite, an electrical signal is produced at the electrodes, when a mechanical deformation is imposed. Experimental results show that the proposed system is capable of delivering electrical energy on a resistive load. Applications can be envisaged on autonomous or quasi-autonomous electronics, such as wireless sensor networks, distributed measurement systems, wearable, and flexible electronics. The production technology allows for fabricating the harvester with low power consumption, negligible amounts of raw materials, no rare elements, and no pollutant emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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13 pages, 6480 KiB  
Article
Polymeric Transducers: An Inkjet Printed B-Field Sensor with Resistive Readout Strategy
by Bruno Andò, Salvatore Baglio, Ruben Crispino and Vincenzo Marletta
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5318; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19235318 - 03 Dec 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3166
Abstract
Magnetic field sensors are successfully used in numerous application contexts such as position sensing, speed detection, current detection, contactless switches, vehicle detection, and electronic compasses. In this paper, an inkjet printed magnetic sensor, based on the magneto-mechanical sensing principle, is presented together with [...] Read more.
Magnetic field sensors are successfully used in numerous application contexts such as position sensing, speed detection, current detection, contactless switches, vehicle detection, and electronic compasses. In this paper, an inkjet printed magnetic sensor, based on the magneto-mechanical sensing principle, is presented together with a physical model describing its physical behavior and experimental results. The main novelties of the proposed solution consist of its low cost, rapid prototyping (printing and drying time), disposability, and in the use of a commercial low-cost printer. A measurement survey has been carried out by investigating magnetic fields belonging to the range 0–27 mT and for different values of the excitation current forced in the actuation coil. Experimental results demonstrate the suitability of both the proposed sensing strategy and model developed. In particular, in the case of an excitation current of 100 mA, the device responsivity and resolution are 3700 µε/T and 0.458 mT, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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16 pages, 1505 KiB  
Article
Strategies and Techniques for Powering Wireless Sensor Nodes through Energy Harvesting and Wireless Power Transfer
by Roberto La Rosa, Patrizia Livreri, Carlo Trigona, Loreto Di Donato and Gino Sorbello
Sensors 2019, 19(12), 2660; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19122660 - 12 Jun 2019
Cited by 83 | Viewed by 5766
Abstract
The continuous development of internet of things (IoT) infrastructure and applications is paving the way for advanced and innovative ideas and solutions, some of which are pushing the limits of state-of-the-art technology. The increasing demand for Wireless Sensor Nodes (WSNs) able to collect [...] Read more.
The continuous development of internet of things (IoT) infrastructure and applications is paving the way for advanced and innovative ideas and solutions, some of which are pushing the limits of state-of-the-art technology. The increasing demand for Wireless Sensor Nodes (WSNs) able to collect and transmit data through wireless communication channels, while often positioned in locations that are difficult to access, is driving research into innovative solutions involving energy harvesting (EH) and wireless power transfer (WPT) to eventually allow battery-free sensor nodes. Due to the pervasiveness of radio frequency (RF) energy, RF EH and WPT are key technologies with the potential to power IoT devices and smart sensing architectures involving nodes that need to be wireless, maintenance free, and sufficiently low in cost to promote their use almost anywhere. This paper presents a state-of-the-art, ultra-low power 2.5 μ W highly integrated mixed signal system on chip (SoC), for multi-source energy harvesting and wireless power transfer. It introduces a novel architecture that integrates an ultra-low power intelligent power management, an RF to DC converter with very low power sensitivity and high power conversion efficiency (PCE), an Amplitude-Shift-Keying/Frequency-Shift-Keying (ASK/FSK) receiver and digital circuitry to achieve the advantage to cope, in a versatile way and with minimal use of external components, with the wide variety of energy sources and use cases. Diverse methods for powering Wireless Sensor Nodes through energy harvesting and wireless power transfer are implemented providing related system architectures and experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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12 pages, 4128 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Dimensions on the Deformation Sensing Performance of Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites
by Jiale Wang, Yanjie Wang, Zicai Zhu, Jiahui Wang, Qingsong He and Minzhou Luo
Sensors 2019, 19(9), 2104; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19092104 - 07 May 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3609
Abstract
As an excellent transducer, ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs) can act as both an actuator and a sensor. During its sensing process, many factors, such as the water content, the cation type, the surface electrode, and the dimensions of the IPMC sample, have a [...] Read more.
As an excellent transducer, ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs) can act as both an actuator and a sensor. During its sensing process, many factors, such as the water content, the cation type, the surface electrode, and the dimensions of the IPMC sample, have a considerable impact on the IPMC sensing performance. In this paper, the effect of dimensions focused on the Pd-Au typed IPMC samples with various thicknesses, widths, and lengths that were fabricated and their deformation sensing performances were tested and estimated using a self-made electromechanical sensing platform. In our experiments, we employed a two-sensing mode (both current and voltage) to record the signals generated by the IPMC bending. By comparison, it was found that the response trend was closer to the applied deformation curve using the voltage-sensing mode. The following conclusions were obtained. As the thickness increased, IPMC exhibited a better deformation-sensing performance. The thickness of the sample changed from 50 μm to 500 μm and corresponded to a voltage response signal from 0.3 to 1.6 mV. On the contrary, as the length increased, the sensing performance of IPMC decreased when subjected to equal bending. The width displayed a weaker effect on the sensing response. In order to obtain a stronger sensing response, a thickness increase, together with a length reduction, of the IPMC sample is a feasible way. Also, a simplified static model was proposed to successfully explain the sensing properties of IPMC with various sizes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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16 pages, 5947 KiB  
Article
Compressive Behavior of Composite Concrete Columns with Encased FRP Confined Concrete Cores
by Xuxu Wang, Yujun Qi, Yunlou Sun, Zhijin Xie and Weiqing Liu
Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1792; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19081792 - 15 Apr 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4807
Abstract
A composite concrete column with encased fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) confined concrete cores (EFCCC) is proposed in this paper. The cross-sectional form of the EFCCC column is composed of several orderly arranged FRP confined concrete cores (FCCCs) surrounding a filled core concrete. This [...] Read more.
A composite concrete column with encased fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) confined concrete cores (EFCCC) is proposed in this paper. The cross-sectional form of the EFCCC column is composed of several orderly arranged FRP confined concrete cores (FCCCs) surrounding a filled core concrete. This novel composite column has several advantages, such as higher compressive capacity, stronger FRP confinement, and ductile response. The compressive experiment is employed to investigate the compressive behavior of the EFCCC column with deferent parameters, such as outside concrete and stirrups. Test results show that the main failure mode of the EFCCC column with and without an outside concrete or stirrups is tensile fracture of the glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) tubes. Compared to a reinforced concrete (RC) column, the strength and ductility of the EFCCC column was obviously improved by 20% and 500%, respectively. A finite element model (FEM) based on the Drucker–Prager (D-P) was developed that can accurately predict the axial compression behavior of the composite column with FRP confined concrete core. The predicted results obtained by using this FEM have excellent agreement with the experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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8 pages, 3684 KiB  
Article
Self-Sensing Polymer Composite: White-Light-Illuminated Reinforcing Fibreglass Bundle for Deformation Monitoring
by Gergely Hegedus, Tamas Sarkadi and Tibor Czigany
Sensors 2019, 19(7), 1745; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19071745 - 11 Apr 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3040
Abstract
The goal of our research was to develop a continuous glass fibre-reinforced epoxy matrix self-sensing composite. A fibre bundle arbitrarily chosen from the reinforcing glass fabric in the composite was prepared to guide white light. The power of the light transmitted by the [...] Read more.
The goal of our research was to develop a continuous glass fibre-reinforced epoxy matrix self-sensing composite. A fibre bundle arbitrarily chosen from the reinforcing glass fabric in the composite was prepared to guide white light. The power of the light transmitted by the fibres changes as a result of tensile loading. In our research, we show that a selected fibre bundle even without any special preparation can be used as a sensor to detect deformation even before the composite structure is damaged (before fibre breaking). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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15 pages, 4748 KiB  
Article
A Highly Sensitive Pressure-Sensing Array for Blood Pressure Estimation Assisted by Machine-Learning Techniques
by Kuan-Hua Huang, Fu Tan, Tzung-Dau Wang and Yao-Joe Yang
Sensors 2019, 19(4), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19040848 - 19 Feb 2019
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 10362
Abstract
This work describes the development of a pressure-sensing array for noninvasive continuous blood pulse-wave monitoring. The sensing elements comprise a conductive polymer film and interdigital electrodes patterned on a flexible Parylene C substrate. The polymer film was patterned with microdome structures to enhance [...] Read more.
This work describes the development of a pressure-sensing array for noninvasive continuous blood pulse-wave monitoring. The sensing elements comprise a conductive polymer film and interdigital electrodes patterned on a flexible Parylene C substrate. The polymer film was patterned with microdome structures to enhance the acuteness of pressure sensing. The proposed device uses three pressure-sensing elements in a linear array, which greatly facilitates the blood pulse-wave measurement. The device exhibits high sensitivity (−0.533 kPa−1) and a fast dynamic response. Furthermore, various machine-learning algorithms, including random forest regression (RFR), gradient-boosting regression (GBR), and adaptive boosting regression (ABR), were employed for estimating systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) from the measured pulse-wave signals. Among these algorithms, the RFR-based method gave the best performance, with the coefficients of determination for the reference and estimated blood pressures being R2 = 0.871 for SBP and R2 = 0.794 for DBP, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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Review

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36 pages, 4187 KiB  
Review
Sensing and Self-Sensing Actuation Methods for Ionic Polymer–Metal Composite (IPMC): A Review
by WanHasbullah MohdIsa, Andres Hunt and S. Hassan HosseinNia
Sensors 2019, 19(18), 3967; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19183967 - 14 Sep 2019
Cited by 43 | Viewed by 6926
Abstract
Ionic polymer–metal composites (IPMC) are smart material transducers that bend in response to low-voltage stimuli and generate voltage in response to bending. IPMCs are mechanically compliant, simple in construction, and easy to cut into desired shape. This allows the designing of novel sensing [...] Read more.
Ionic polymer–metal composites (IPMC) are smart material transducers that bend in response to low-voltage stimuli and generate voltage in response to bending. IPMCs are mechanically compliant, simple in construction, and easy to cut into desired shape. This allows the designing of novel sensing and actuation systems, e.g., for soft and bio-inspired robotics. IPMC sensing can be implemented in multiple ways, resulting in significantly different sensing characteristics. This paper will review the methods and research efforts to use IPMCs as deformation sensors. We will address efforts to model the IPMC sensing phenomenon, and implementation and characteristics of different IPMC sensing methods. Proposed sensing methods are divided into active sensing, passive sensing, and self-sensing actuation (SSA), whereas the active sensing methods measure one of IPMC-generated voltage, charge, or current; passive methods measure variations in IPMC impedances, or use it in capacitive sensor element circuit, and SSA methods implement simultaneous sensing and actuation on the same IPMC sample. Frequency ranges for reliable sensing vary among the methods, and no single method has been demonstrated to be effective for sensing in the full spectrum of IPMC actuation capabilities, i.e., from DC to ∼100 Hz. However, this limitation can be overcome by combining several sensing methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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