A printed proximity-sensing surface based on organic pyroelectric sensors and organic thin-film transistor electronics

Publication from Materials
Hybridelektronik und Strukturierung

Marco Fattori, Simone Cardarelli, Joost Fijn, Pieter Harpe, Micael Charbonneau, Denis Locatelli, Stephanie Lombard, Christelle Laugier, Laurent Tournon, Stephanie Jacob, Krunoslav Romanjek, Romain Coppard, Herbert Gold, Manfred Adler, Martin Zirkl, Jonas Groten, Andreas Tschepp, Bernhard Lamprecht, Markus Postl, Barbara Stadlober, Josephine Socratous & Eugenio Cantatore

Nature Electronics , 5/2022


Large-area, flexible proximity-sensing surfaces are useful in a range of applications including process control, work security and robotics. However, current systems typically require rigid and thick electronics, which limit how they can be used. Here we report a flexible large-area proximity-sensing surface fabricated using printed organic materials and incorporating analogue front-end electronics in each pixel. The sensing surface is built with printed thin-film pyroelectric sensors based on poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-trifluoroethylene) co-polymers and printed organic thin-film transistors. A 5 × 10 matrix frontplane, consisting of long-wavelength infrared organic pyroelectric sensors, is laminated with an organic transistor analogue front-end backplane. The electronic front end provides sensor-signal amplification and pixel addressing to maximize the detection distance and reduce pixel crosstalk. An average yield of 82% fully working pixels for the backplane and a maximum system yield of 96%, which corresponds to 768 defect-free devices, are achieved. The system can detect a human hand approaching from different directions and track the position of a movable heat source up to a distance of around 0.4 m at a readout speed of 100 frames per second.