Capacitive touch sensor
Article publication date: 2 July 2018
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the possibilities of mechanical switch replacement by capacitive film touch sensor in applications requiring high reliability and short response time. Advantage of replacing mechanical switch by capacitive touch sensor is no mechanical wear and possible implementation of sensor in application where the switch could not be used or where the flexibility of the sensor substrate is required. The aim of this work is to develop a capacitive touch sensor with the advantage of maximum mechanical resistance, short response time and high sensitivity.
Based on various possible sensors layouts, the authors realized 18 different (14 self-capacitance and four mutual capacitance) topologies of capacitive sensor for touch applications. Three different technologies – PCB, LTCC and polymer technology – were used to characterize sensor’s behaviour. For precise characterization of different layouts realized on various substrates, the authors used integrated circuit FDC2214 capacitance-to-digital converter.
Sensing range of the capacitive touch (proximity) sensor is affected by the per cent of area covered by the sensor, and it does not depend on topology of sensor. The highest sensing range offers PCB technology. Flexible substrates can be used as proper substituent to rigid PCB.
The novelty of this work lies in finding the touch capacitive sensors that allow shorter switching times compared to standard mechanical switches.
Zuk, S., Pietrikova, A. and Vehec, I. (2018), "Capacitive touch sensor", Microelectronics International, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 153-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/MI-12-2017-0071
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