A Percolation Model for Piezoresistivity in Conductor–Polymer Composites

Mingyi Wang, Ramya Gurunathan, Kazuki Imasato, Nicholas R. Geisendorfer, Adam E. Jakus, Jun Peng*, Ramille N. Shah, Matthew Grayson, G. Jeffrey Snyder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Insulating polymer composites with conductive filler particles are attractive for sensor applications due to their large piezoresistive response. Composite samples composed of a polymer matrix filled with particles of doped semiconductor that gives a piezoresistive response that is 105 times larger than that of bulk semiconductor sensors are prepared here. The piezoresistance of such composite materials is typically described by using a tunneling mechanism. However, it is found that a percolation description not only fits prior data better but provides a much simpler physical mechanism for the more flexible and soft polymer composite prepared and tested in this study. A simple model for the resistance as a function of applied pressure is derived using percolation theory with a conductivity exponent, s. The model is shown to fit experimental piezoresistive trends with the resistance measured both perpendicular and parallel to the pressure direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1800125
JournalAdvanced Theory and Simulations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • percolation theory
  • piezoresistive response
  • piezoresistivity
  • polymer composite
  • pressure sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General


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