Mitsubishi Develops Flexible, World's Thinnest Thermistor Sensor

Mar 12, 2014
Yutaka Chikaoka, Nikkei Monozukuri
The world's thinnest thermistor sensor operates even when bent.
The world's thinnest thermistor sensor operates even when bent.
[Click to enlarge image]

Mitsubishi Materials Corp developed a thin thermistor sensor that can measure a temperature even when bent.

The thickness of the sensor is 100μm or less, which the company claims is the thinnest in the world. Because of the thinness and flexibility, it allows to design devices more freely. For example, it can be placed in a small gap between the components of a mobile device such as a smartphone as well as attached to a curved part.

The new thermistor sensor is made by forming a 0.1- to 0.2μm-thick thermistor thin film on a 50μm-thick polyimide film. The thickness of the sensor including electrodes and protective film ranges from 70μm to 100μm. With its flexibility, it operates even when bent up to a curvature radius of 6mm.

The slimness also contributed to performance improvement, increasing thermal responsiveness by about six times. And operating temperature range was expanded from -40 to 125°C to -40 to 200°C.

Mitsubishi Materials will start to ship samples, planning to establish a mass-production system in about a year. But the price of the sensor has not been determined yet.