A Relaxation Oscillator-Based Transformer Ratio Arm Bridge Circuit for Capacitive Humidity Sensor

Tarikul Islam*, Shakeb A. Khan, Md Firoz A Khan, Subhas Chandra Mukhopadhyay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


A simple signal conditioning circuit using a transformer ratio arm (TRA) bridge for converting capacitance change into frequency for capacitive sensors is presented. The circuit employs a relaxation oscillator in which the output frequency is linearly related to the capacitive unbalance of a TRA bridge. The design, analysis, and experimental results of the circuit and its application to a thin-film-based humidity sensor are reported. The experimental results confirm the theoretical value predicted. The circuit which offers the minimum parasitic earth capacitance effect has the potential for accurately monitoring measurement parameters, particularly ppm-level humidity. The simulation results for the effect of parasitic earth capacitances and ambient temperature on the output frequency have also been discussed. The pulse wave output of the circuit is interfaced with microcontroller for direct moisture display in ppm. The frequency sensitivity and nonlinearity of the sensor for the 0-110-ppm moisture range are found to be 10.94 Hz/ppm and 1.2%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7234889
Pages (from-to)3414-3422
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Capacitance to frequency conversion
  • capacitive sensor
  • moisture measurement
  • relaxation oscillator
  • transformer ratio arm (TRA) bridge.


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