Printed Opto-Detectors (Media & Entertainment Technology)


Printed Electronics USA, Santa Clara, CA - Laurent Jamet from ISORG presented the results of their efforts to print near-IR opto-detectors on various substrates. The capability to place optical detectors on a substrate allows new modes of sensing and interactivity in many applications.

Photodetectors with near linear response and low dark current are possible with printable materials. An active matrix of detectors can resolve at resolutions down to 50 microns, and can scale to larger image sizes. The sensor arrays are placed in a 32 x 38cm area in a sheet-to-sheet process. The process can use either glass or plastic substrates.

For large area sensing, the image resolution can be increased up to 1cm and the functions can be set for larger object detection. The resulting flexible electronics can be placed on non-planar surfaces. This flexible circuitry needs mechanical integration to achieve thin, light, and customizable optical sensing.

Some specialized applications include 3-D detection over a 0-50cm range, large area detection, and non-optical sensing. Interactive surfaces in various configurations are possible. Some functions include point of sales terminals, interactive posters, smart phones, and man-machine interfaces. Other areas like toys, educational environments, automotive, and consumer electronics can all use this technology, as well as some versions of smart packaging.

Potentially, this material can be used to replace a computer mouse, but the resolution will call for a sensor that is over 6-inches in diameter. The detectors can be coupled with IR emitters to from an active sensor that can detect gross and medium coarseness motions. One version of the sensor array can detect motions of a whole hand, or individual fingers, but could not detect a single finger motion

December 6, 2012
Media & Entertainment Technology