Techno Press

Smart Structures and Systems   Volume 4, Number 5, September 2008, pages 531-548
Inductively coupled nanocomposite wireless strain and pH sensors
Kenneth J. Loh, Jerome P. Lynch and Nicholas A. Kotov

Abstract     [Full Text]
    Recently, dense sensor instrumentation for structural health monitoring has motivated the need for novel passive wireless sensors that do not require a portable power source, such as batteries. Using a layer-by-layer self-assembly process, nano-structured multifunctional carbon nanotube-based thin film sensors of controlled morphology are fabricated. Through judicious selection of polyelectrolytic constituents, specific sensing transduction mechanisms can be encoded within these homogenous thin films. In this study, the thin films are specifically designed to change electrical properties to strain and pH stimulus. Validation of wireless communications is performed using traditional magnetic coil antennas of various turns for passive RFID (radio frequency identification) applications. Preliminary experimental results shown in this study have identified characteristic frequency and bandwidth changes in tandem with varying strain and pH, respectively. Finally, ongoing research is presented on the use of gold nanocolloids and carbon nanotubes during layer-by-layer assembly to fabricate highly conductive coil antennas for wireless communications.
Key Words
    carbon nanotubes; layer-by-layer; nanocomposite; pH sensing; RFID; strain sensor; structural monitoring.
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2125, USA

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