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Posted: Jul 26, 2017
Graphene touch sensor for wearable electronics
(Nanowerk News) Researchers in Korea have developed a wearable and stretchable mutual capacitance touch sensor based on graphene electrodes that is capable of multitouch sensing as well as 3D sensing in a highly deformed state.
While a considerable amount of research has been conducted on the development of graphene-based touch sensors for a variety of practical applications over the past decade, many limitations remain.
Only touch sensors designed for rigid electronics and resistive-type touch sensors for detecting a single touch have been demonstrated because of the difficulty involved in fabricating capacitive, 3D, multitouch sensors based on transparent graphene electrodes in a wearable or stretchable format.
The wearable and stretchable capacitive touch sensor presented by the Korean team addresses these difficulties by enabling multifinger touch sensing as well as 3D sensing while mounted on highly deformable human body parts.
The use of graphene as a transparent electrode enables the fabrication of a thin and stretchable device, which improves the resulting functionality and capabilities by minimizing mechanical failure during operation.
The resulting graphene-based 3D touch sensor can be directly mounted onto deformable human body parts, including the forearms and palms, and it exhibits significant stretchability (∼15%) and good sensing capability in contact as well as noncontact modes (22 dB SNR at 7 cm distance).
"Although much effort will be required to render the approach presented here compatible with currently existing technology and applicable to practical devices, this is a potential route toward a key application of graphene in emerging wearable electronics," the authors conclude their report.