This paper presents the design, theoretical analysis, microfabrication and
testing of a new type of millimeter-size acoustic sensor using Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) micropillars and
patterned electrodes. The sensor has the potential to achieve 100x the sensitivity of existing commercial sensors
in combination with a sound pressure level (SPL) range of 35-180 dB and a frequency bandwidth of at least
100 kHz. A constrained optimization algorithm has been developed as a function of geometric parameters
(sensor footprint, diameter and height of the micropillars, gap between pillar edges, and number of pillars) and
electrical parameters of the sensor and conditioning amplifier. Details of the fabrication process are described.
Nanoindentation tests demonstrate that the PVDF micropillar sensor exhibits piezoelectric responses under
an applied voltage or strain, thus demonstrating the sensor concept. Operational amplifier circuit design and
experimental setup are also described and developed.