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Published June 1, 2022 | Submitted + Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Capacitive Temperature Sensing via Displacement Amplification


We propose the realization of capacitive temperature sensors based on the concept of displacement amplification. Our design features two high coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) metallic layers separated by a low-CTE dielectric layer; conductive and dielectric layers are then separated by a thin air gap and glued together at a few locations. As the temperature increases, the high-CTE layer tends to expand more than the low-CTE one. Owing to the constraint to planar expansion imposed by the low-CTE layer, this results in large out-of-plane displacements of the high-CTE layer – hence the displacement amplification term. In our case, the high-CTE layer buckles and causes a reduction of the gap between conductive and dielectric layers; in turn, this results in a large change of capacitance. First, we illustrate the concept via numerical simulations. Then, we realize a low-cost prototype of such sensor by using aluminum foil as conductor, paper as dielectric, and by gluing the layers together with cyanoacrylate. Our results demonstrate the potential of this simple design as a route towards efficient and low-cost temperature sensors.

Additional Information

© 2022 IEEE. Manuscript received March 18, 2022; revised April 19, 2022; accepted April 19, 2022. Date of publication April 22, 2022; date of current version May 31, 2022. The associate editor coordinating the review of this article and approving it for publication was Dr. Cheng-Yao Lo. The authors would like to thank Luca Bonanomi for fruitful discussions during the initial stages of the project.

Attached Files

Accepted Version - Capacitive_temperature_sensing_via_displacement_amplification.pdf

Submitted - 2203.15869.pdf


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August 20, 2023
October 24, 2023