Development of electrorheological chip and conducting polymer-based sensor
This paper presents the development of an integrated sensor using two types of smart materials: electrorheological (ER) fluids and conducting polymers (CPs). The developed ER chip worked as an actuator, and it was driven by different voltages and control frequencies. When the four electrodes are controlled synchronously, the diaphragm acts as a vibrator whose frequency can be adjusted in accordance with the frequency of the electrical signals. The response signals of the CP sensor were recorded, and its properties were analyzed. Experimental results show that the amplitude decreases monotonically when the frequency increases, owing to the time delay in the pressure buildup in the ER chip. However, the displacement fluctuation of the diaphragm below 20 Hz can be detected clearly even if the value is very low. When the vibration frequency is larger than 20 Hz, the CP sensor can hardly detect the displacement fluctuation. Thus, the upper limit frequency that the CP sensor can detect is about 20 Hz. The practical applications of this microdevice are also discussed.