Date of Award

5-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Mohamed R. Mahfouz

Committee Members

William R. Hamel, Richard D. Komistek, H. Lee Martin

Abstract

This dissertation introduces the novel concept of removing the ground conductive plate by utilizing body capacitance as the ground in the capacitive sensor, whereby circuit pressure sensing can occur with only one plate and one dielectric. Additionally, body capacitance sensing was limited to a binary touch-no-touch output, whereas the method presented here can sense various applied pressures. The resulting circuit acts as an antenna that receives local capacitance signals from a human interaction.

The advantage of this design is that it allows for both proximity sensing and pressure sensing (once the body part is touching the dielectric material). This setup is ideal for a z-axis dimensional interface for touchscreen devices, as well as pressure sensing palpation or planter region interaction.

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