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Research Papers

Direct Printing of Capacitive Touch Sensors on Flexible Substrates by Additive E-Jet Printing With Silver Nanoinks

[+] Author and Article Information
Hantang Qin

Department of Industrial and
Systems Engineering,
North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 27695-7906
e-mail: hqin@ncsu.edu

Yi Cai

Department of Industrial and
Systems Engineering,
North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 27695-7906
e-mail: ycai6@ncsu.edu

Jingyan Dong

Department of Industrial and
Systems Engineering,
North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 27695-7906
e-mail: jdong@ncsu.edu

Yuan-Shin Lee

Department of Industrial and
Systems Engineering,
North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 27695-7906
e-mail: yslee@ncsu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received August 8, 2016; final manuscript received August 31, 2016; published online October 6, 2016. Editor: Y. Lawrence Yao.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 139(3), 031011 (Oct 06, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: MANU-16-1421; doi: 10.1115/1.4034663 History: Received August 08, 2016; Revised August 31, 2016

In this paper, techniques of direct printing of capacitive touch sensors on flexible substrates are presented. Capacitive touch sensors were fabricated by using electrohydrodynamic inkjet (E-jet) printing onto flexible substrates. Touch pad sensors can be achieved with optimized design of silver nanoink tracks. An analytical model was developed to predict touch pad capacitance, and experiments were conducted to study the effects of sensor design (e.g., number of electrodes, electrode length, and electrode distance) on the capacitance of printed coplanar capacitance touch sensors. Details of the fabrication techniques were developed to enable rapid prototype flexible sensors with simple structure and good sensitivity. The presented techniques can be used for the on-demand fabrication of different conductive patterns for flexible electronics with high resolution and good transparency

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of structures in projected capacitive touch screens: row and column stack up layers

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Fig. 2

Working principle of capacitors with single coplanar electrode

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Fig. 3

Fabrication platform for E-jet printing

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Fig. 4

Schematic view of touch sensor structure and the patterns printed in the lab

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Fig. 5

Schematic of capacitive touch sensor test system

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Fig. 6

Effect of number of electrodes on touch sensor capacitance

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Fig. 7

Effect of length of electrodes on touch sensor capacitance

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Fig. 8

Effect of distance between electrodes on touch sensor capacitance

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Fig. 9

Response time with finger touch/not touch the sensor

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Fig. 10

Printed microelectrodes array on PET film with good transparency, flexibility, and high resolution

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