Ultrathin Image Sensor For Pulse Wave and Biometric Authenticity

By Vinay Minj

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Besides being ultrathin, the sensor is highly lightweight, flexible and comes with an unbreakable electronic circuitry. All this enables it to be worn around, like a tattoo, and get real-time information.

Image credit: www.j-display.com

Japan Display, a designer and developer of innovative solutions in collaboration with the Someya Group of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Tokyo, has developed a paper-thin image sensor that is capable of presenting high-speed readout i.e. quick information display, as well as, high-resolution imaging.

Fast analysis of pulse waves

Conventional image sensors are rigid electronic devices that produce electronic signals by capturing light rays. These image sensors are of two types: CCD (Charged Coupled Devices) and CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor). These are typically used in digital cameras and smartphone cameras.

In contrast, the image sensor developed by the researchers is simply 15 micrometres thick, lightweight and flexible. By integrating low-temperature, polycrystalline silicon thin-film transistors with high-sensitivity organic photodetectors, a single sensor was created that was able to measure pulse wave distribution at high speeds and thus create images with a resolution of 508 pixels per inch and videos with a speed of 41 frames per second. This was achieved by reading out a photocurrent of less than 10pA and with low noise.

Therefore, this sensor can be used to analyse pulse waves by electronically selecting the best measurement location by determining the area distribution.

Fool-proof biometric data acquisition

With respect to biometric information, the sensor can efficiently obtain high-resolution biometric imaging of human fingerprints and veins.  The sensor can be placed on a human-skin, just like a tattoo, without worrying about the breaking of internal electronic circuitry.

Image credit: www.j-display.com

As for biometric authentication, it is expected that the sensor will be applied to high-security authentication systems in order to curb forgery of personal details.

Read the original research paper here.


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