Abstract: The Effect of Electron Beam Radiation on the Performance of Force-Sensistive Resistors

Electron beam (e-beam) sterilization is a sterilization method commonly used on a wide variety of medical equipment. In particular, it is commonly used to sterilize single use medical equipment like gloves, masks, and gowns as well as certain food items. Force-sensitive resistors (FSRs) mechanically simply-designed electronic components that vary the resistance in a circuit relative to the force applied to a specific area of the resistor. E-beam radiation is not typically used on electronic components, including FSRs, due to concerns of material compatibility and heat produced from the e-beam sterilization process damaging the components. As such, sterilization involving electronic components typically defaults to procedures much slower and less accessible when compared to e-beam sterilization. From our observations, there is a noticeable lack of research into the specific impact e-beam sterilization may or may not have on minor electronic components. In our project, we intend to explore the potential effect e-beam radiation may have on the performance characteristics At the end of our project, we intend to review the viability of testing the effects of e-beam radiation on FSRs. From this, it can then be determined if more formalized and through research into the subject would be worthwhile, as well as some of the possible obstacles and considerations that need to be considered in such a study. In general, our project aims to provide insight into the viability of using e-beam radiation to sterilize electronic components by testing FSRs irradiated at different doses and comparing their force-to-resistance characteristics to that of non-irradiated FSRs.