“As the researchers explain, transparent fingerprint sensor technology ‘is highly sought after’ given the growing prevalence of biometric security on smartphones and smartwatches, and device makers’ interest in maximizing screen space. “
Korean researchers have developed a capacitive fingerprint sensor technology that is both transparent and flexible.
As outlined in a paper for Nature Communications, the system uses an array of flexible electrodes made of metal nanofibers and nanowires. The researchers report that these ‘hybrid electrodes’ offer a resolution of 318 capacitors per inch, which meets FBI criteria; and that they offer “outstanding reliability against mechanical bending.” What’s more, this approach can be combined with transparent pressure and skin temperature sensors to detect when a finger is pressing against the display, and how hard it’s pressing.
As the researchers explain, transparent fingerprint sensor technology “is highly sought after” given the growing prevalence of biometric security on smartphones and smartwatches, and device makers’ interest in maximizing screen space. Besides those concerns, there’s also the matter of making sure there’s room for various components within a given device – an issue that their solution addresses since it is thin and can be applied across the surface area of the device display.
The researchers, who are affiliated with the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology’s Samsung Display-UNIST Center, make a strong case for their approach. But with other in-display fingerprint sensor technologies already making their way into smartphones, their solution could face some strong competition in the commercial sector. In any case, their work represents the advancing state of the art as fingerprint sensors continue to reign supreme in mobile authentication.
Source: Nature Communications
July 5, 2018 – by Alex Perala