Humidity sensors printed on recycled paper and cardboard

Sensors (Basel). 2014 Jul 28;14(8):13628-43. doi: 10.3390/s140813628.


Research, design, fabrication and results of various screen printed capacitive humidity sensors is presented in this paper. Two types of capacitive humidity sensors have been designed and fabricated via screen printing on recycled paper and cardboard, obtained from the regional paper and cardboard industry. As printing ink, commercially available silver nanoparticle-based conductive ink was used. A considerable amount of work has been devoted to the humidity measurement methods using paper as a dielectric material. Performances of different structures have been tested in a humidity chamber. Relative humidity in the chamber was varied in the range of 35%-80% relative humidity (RH) at a constant temperature of 23 °C. Parameters of interest were capacitance and conductance of each sensor material, as well as long term behaviour. Process reversibility has also been considered. The results obtained show a mainly logarithmic response of the paper sensors, with the only exception being cardboard-based sensors. Recycled paper-based sensors exhibit a change in value of three orders of magnitude, whereas cardboard-based sensors have a change in value of few 10s over the entire scope of relative humidity range (RH 35%-90%). Two different types of capacitor sensors have been investigated: lateral (comb) type sensors and modified, perforated flat plate type sensors. The objective of the present work was to identify the most important factors affecting the material performances with humidity, and to contribute to the development of a sensor system supported with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip directly on the material, for use in smart packaging applications. Therefore, the authors built a passive and a battery-supported wireless module based on SL900A smart sensory tag's IC to achieve UHF-RFID functionality with data logging capability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electric Capacitance
  • Equipment Design / instrumentation
  • Humidity
  • Paper
  • Printing / instrumentation*
  • Radio Frequency Identification Device / methods
  • Recycling
  • Silver / chemistry


  • Silver