Carbon nanofiber-reinforced Pt thin film-based airflow sensor for respiratory monitoring

Sajad A. Moshizi, Abolfazl Abedi, Christopher J. Pastras, Shuhua Peng, Shuying Wu, Majid Sanaeepur*, Mohsen Asadnia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Recognizing abnormal respiratory patterns is vital for detecting emergency signs or symptoms for diagnosing disease and dysfunction. This paper suggests design and fabrication of a novel airflow sensor based on platinum (Pt) thin films reinforced by carbon nanofibers (CNFs). The conductive Pt thin films were supported by polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which endows the sensors with great bendability and ultrahigh sensitivity. CNFs bridge and deflect the microcracks formed in Pt thin film when subjected to external stress, resulting in increased piezoresistive properties. The Pi-shaped air flow sensor was subjected to various airflow rates to study the sensor performance including sensitivity, response time, and recovery time. The results indicate the sensor possesses high sensitivity (27.6 mV (m/s)-1) and low response time (> 0.6 s) with a low-velocity threshold of 15 L min-1 or 0.83 m/s. A finite-element model was developed in COMSOL Multiphysics package to study fluid-solid interactions and piezoresistive effects of the Pt-CNFs/PDMS nanocomposite. Direct measurements of sensor tip displacement were also quantified using single-point laser Doppler vibrometry, which was compared against the numerical simulations. The calibration plot and the numerical results are in good agreement. When compared with previous studies, our airflow sensor showed superior sensing performance in terms of their sensor length, sensitivity, and velocity threshold under various experimental conditions. As a proof of concept, we tested the airflow sensor for monitoring a human respiratory pattern for two extreme conditions, sitting and running.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113969
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSensors and Actuators A: Physical
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • Respiratory sensors
  • Piezoresistive sensors
  • Finite-element simulation
  • Carbon reinforcement-based sensors
  • Platinum thin films
  • Laser Doppler Vibrometry


Dive into the research topics of 'Carbon nanofiber-reinforced Pt thin film-based airflow sensor for respiratory monitoring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this