real-time force imaging technology using zno thin-film transistor array

Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Shadi A. Dayeh

Primary Student
Name: Hongseok Oh
Phone: 858-534-6940
Grad Year: 2018

Real-time force imaging technology has been receiving a lot of interest for its opportunities in wide applications such as touch interfaces, healthcare sensors, or even artificial robotic skins. In such applications, scalable, thin, light-weighted, and cost-effective solutions with low process temperature should be developed, to be easily integrated with the current electronics, such as mobile devices. On the other hand, to become fully functional components excellent performances such as short response time, fast refresh rate, high sensitivity, and high spatial resolution are required. A powerful approach to meet these conflicting requirements is to combine both pressure sensing and signal multiplexing functionalities into a single array element. This allows us to minimize the process complexity and achieve much simpler device structure, essential to scale and reduce production cost and improve device performance. Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a semiconductor with a high piezoelectric coefficient, a highly desirable material for this purpose. While it has been proven to be suitable for transistors in both fields of research and industry, its high piezoelectric coefficient confers excellent pressure sensitivity as well. In this work, we report the fabrication of flexible ZnO TFT pressure sensor array. An individually addressable ZnO TFT array was fabricated using sputtered ZnO thin film. Customized data acquisition circuits were developed to receive the pressure images at a high frequency, to achieve the real-time force sensing technology. This research offers a general route to construct force imaging components which can be readily integrated into current electronic devices.

Industry Application Area(s)
Electronics/Photonics | Materials | Semiconductor

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