Pencil-on-paper capacitors for hand-drawn RC circuits and capacitive sensing.
Thompson, Jonathan, E.
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Electronic capacitors were constructed via hand-printing on paper using pencil graphite. Graphite traces were used to draw conductive connections and capacitor plates on opposing sides of a sheet of standard notebook paper. The paper served as the dielectric separating the plates. Capacitance of the devices were generally < 1000 pF and scaled with surface area of the plate electrodes. By combining a pencil-drawn capacitor with an additional resistive pencil trace, an RC low-pass filter was demonstrated. Further utility of the pencil-on-paper devices was demonstrated through description of a capacitive force transducer and reversible chemical sensing. The latter was achieved for water vapor when the hygroscopic cellulose matrix of the paper capacitor’s dielectric adsorbed water. The construction and demonstration of pencil-on-paper capacitive elements broadens the scope of paper-based electronic circuits while allowing new opportunities in the rapidly expanding field of paper-based sensors.