SM01.04.09 : A Skin-Like Sensing Array with a Single Conductive Layer and a Reduced Number of Wires

11:00 AM–11:15 AM Apr 4, 2018

PCC West, 100 Level, Room 104 AB

Xiyue Zou1 Chuyang Chen1 Tongfen Liang1 Jingjin Xie1 Eda-Nicole Gillette-Henao1 Jihoon Oh1 Aaron Mazzeo1

1, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, United States

Skin-like sensors require arrays of wired interconnects to detect touch or force. For these wired grids, the number of sensing units scales with the square of the number of wired leads connecting to the edges of the sensing surface, so the sensors often require a multi-layer fabrication process on flexible substrates, which increases the complexity of the manufacturing process and limits the scalability of the skin-like sensors. This work presents a scalable skin-like sensing array based on resistive networks of capacitive touch pads on metallized paper. The technique permits detecting external stimuli on a two-dimensional meshed area, while it has a single conductive layer with only two wired leads. To demonstrate the feasibility of the networks, the prototype sensors are simple to fabricate with laser-based ablation of metallized paper to vaporize conductive coating on the cellulose for patterning resistors and capacitors. With the designed patterns shown in this work, the impedance of the networks shifts to a specific range that depends on the activated sensing region. In this work, two case studies show the scalability and feasibility of the networks. One example includes a device for detecting both location and volume of applied droplets of water. Another example demonstrates that two wired leads are capable of detecting finger touch from 31 distinct buttons laid out in the format of a conventional keypad. Future applications might include wearable human-machine interfaces, skin-like force sensing array, or smart sensing embedded in civil infrastructure for detection of leaks.