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Development and Characterization of a Novel Low-Cost Water-Level and Water Quality Monitoring Sensor by Using Enhanced Screen Printing Technology with PEDOT:PSS

Wang, Bei; Bäuscher, Manuel; Hu, Xiaodong; Wöhrmann, Markus; Becker, Katharina; Jürgensen, Nils; Hubl, Moritz; Mackowiak, Piotr; Schneider-Ramelow, Martin; Lang, Klaus-Dieter; Ngo, Ha-Duong

A novel capacitive sensor for measuring the water-level and monitoring the water quality has been developed in this work by using an enhanced screen printing technology. A commonly used environment-friendly conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly (styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) for conductive sensors has a limited conductivity due to its high sheet resistance. A physical treatment performed during the printing process has reduced the sheet resistance of printed PEDOT:PSS on polyethylenterephthalat (PET) substrate from 264.39 Ω/sq to 23.44 Ω/sq. The adhesion bonding force between printed PEDOT:PSS and the substrate PET is increased by using chemical treatment and tested using a newly designed adhesive peeling force test. Using the economical conductive ink PEDOT:PSS with this new physical treatment, our capacitive sensors are cost-efficient and have a sensitivity of up to 1.25 pF/mm.
Published in: Micromachines, 10.3390/mi11050474, MDPI