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Capactive Touch Sensors

Capacitive Touch Sensors


What is capacitive touch and what can it be used for?
In many cases, machines, home appliances and electronic devices have to be controlled by human beings. It is part of everyones daily life and we are familiar with switches, push buttons, keyboards, knobs and slider controls. Since some time, a new species of control elements invades our life. It started in consumer products like mobile phones and MP3 players but moves into all kind of devices now. Those talks are about touch sensors. Simple electrodes underneath the housing replace Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe GmbH Page 3/12 mechanical input devices with moving elements. The shape and layout of these sensor electrodes can be designed in a very flexible way, leading to appealing, modern product designs with enhanced usability. A wide range of elements can be implemented with touch sensor electrodes: simple buttons and keyboards, linear or circular sliders, transparent touch elements on displays or even buttons on wooden surfaces. As the sensor electrodes are placed inside the device, no openings are required. The housing is more robust and cost-effective and ideally suited for rough environments where dust and moisture could creep into the device. Especially for medical applications or devices used in clean environments like in the food industry, capacitive touch control enables hygienic casings. Conventional mechanical buttons or potentiometers with moving parts have a certain lifetime. Sooner or later they are worn out and do not work reliable anymore. Due to the lack of moving parts, capacitive touch is much more durable. However for highly stressed elements, the surface resp. overlay cover material of the touch electrode has to be considered. Glass or acryl may be better suited as plastics. For single, isolated buttons, even metal can be used, not for complete front covers however as the sensor pads must be isolated from each other. One positive aspect of the moving parts in conventional push buttons or switches is the tactile feedback to the user. By touching a surface, the user does not feel if the push button was triggered. This can be compensated by using optical, acoustical or, a bit more complex, vibration feedback.

The simplest form of a capacitor consists of two conductors, e.g. two metal plates, separated by an insulator. The following formula shows the parameters which influence capacitance: A C d = 0 * r Where C is the capacitance r is the relative permittivity, also called dielectric constant, of the insulating material between the plates 0 is the permittivity of free space (8.854x10-12 F/m) A is the area of the plates d is the distance between the plates

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Basic Principle

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Capactive Touch Sensors

The larger the area of the plates, the larger is the capacitance. The smaller the distance between the two plates, the higher is the capacitance. The insulating material determines the dielectric constant. The electrode of a touch sensor represents one plate of such a capacitor. The corresponding 2nd plate is represented by the environment of the sensor electrode (to form a parasitic capacitor C0) and another conductive object, like a human finger for example (to form touch capacitor CT). This capacitor, i.e. the sensor electrode, is connected to a measurement circuit. The capacitance of the sensor pad is measured periodically. If a conductive object approaches or touches the electrode, the measured capacitance will increase. This change is detected by the measurement circuit and converted into a trigger signal. Considering the formula above, one can see that a bigger pad and a thinner overlaying cover material, leads to a bigger touch capacitance CT and as a result, a bigger capacitance difference between touched and untouched sensor pad. In other words, the size of the electrode and the covering material influence the sensitivity of the sensor.

Touch Sensor Principle: untouched sensor pad with parasitic capacitance C0, touched sensor pad with additional touch capacitance CT.

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Capactive Touch Sensors

In contrast to mechanical contacts, capacitive touch sensors do not require force to trigger a button. The presence of conductive material is sufficient. Therefore, the risk of unintended, false triggers is higher. In particular, water and moisture, which is a good conductor, are potential problems. Many capacitance measurement methods require a reference ground plane, located nearby the sensing pad. A fingertip forms the capacitance between the sensing pad and the reference ground. Since the human body consists of around 70% water, a drop of water on such a pad layout is very similar to the fingertip and leads to false triggers. Reducing the sensitivity is no option because intended touches shall be detected reliable.

Reliable operation

figure 5 Split sensing pad

There are proposals to distinguish between water and intended touches by additional guard sensing pads, special pad layouts with shield electrodes and software algorithms. However the best solution to overcome this problem is to get rid of the reference ground electrode. The differential measurement approach discussed earlier and implemented in Fujitsus FMA1127/25 touch sensor controllers, use single pads only. With a resolution of 78fF, the sensitivity of the circuit is high enough to sense the self capacitance of the touch pad, which is influenced by the human body. No reference ground plane is required. Furthermore all sensor channels of the device are operated synchronously. This avoids cross coupling effects.

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Capactive Touch Sensors

figure 6 Single sensing pad


Another aspect of reliable operation is the compensation of long term effects. Parameters like temperature, humidity etc. influence the measurement result. If these effects are not taken into account and be compensated, the sensitivity of the sensor changes over time. Under bad conditions, this can even lead to false triggers. Some methods register slow capacitance changes and assure a Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe GmbH Page 10/12 stable sensitivity. This feature is available on FMA1127 and called AIC automatic impedance calibration.

IC Touch Sensor

The type of touch sensor IC used here is B6TS-04LT. The B6T touch sensing IC is a 16bit micro-controller, designed to detect touch sensing by measuring the change in the capacitance. The touch sensor detects the capacitance of the output channel. By touching the output of one channel, the person is changing the capacitance between the output and the ground with the body capacitance. The touch sensor detects that change and will make the output of that channel go to low voltage which can be regarded as zero. The touch sensor IC, as purchased, cannot be connected to the breadboard directly because of the style of package it comes in. The sensor comes in as a gull wing package. The pin outs are designed to put into special boards such as a PC board. The pins of those sensors are so tiny that the sensors cannot be used for breadboard directly. Fortunately, after soldering to adaptors, the sensors can be used for breadboards. The pin arrangement diagram is shown in Figure 5.1 below:

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Capactive Touch Sensors

Figure 5.1: Pin Arrangement Diagram

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The dot on the surface of the Touch Sensor IC indicates the direction of pin outs of B6TS-04LT touch sensor. Pin 19, 20, 1 and 2 are the output pins of all four channels in the sensor. When one channel is connected to resistors and capacitors correctly, the output of that channel will be zero which indicates the circuit is working properly. For example, when pin 18 and 17 (measurement pins of channel 0) are connected correctly, the voltage of pin 19 (output pin of channel 0) will be zero. In order to make the sensor work, pin 3, 4 and 8 will be connect to the power bus (high voltage) through a 10k resistor for each pin. Besides, pin 5 should be connected to ground directly and pin 7 and 16 should be connected to the power bus directly. The basic connections are shown in Figure 5.2 below:

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Capactive Touch Sensors

Figure 5.2: Touch Sensor with pin 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 16 connected

Project Design Circuit The normal measurement mode is used in the design circuit for this project. All the channels work properly under this mode. The /SETUP (pin 9) and MEAS (pin 6) pins are both connected to the power bus (high voltage) through a 10k resistor for each pin. The connection for normal measurement mode is shown in Figure 6.1 below:

Under the normal measurement mode, students can start to build one channel touch sensing circuit now. The circuit diagram with pin 10 and pin 11 (measurement pins for channel 3) connected is shown in Figure 6.2 below:

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Capactive Touch Sensors

Circuit Diagram in normal measurement mode

Figure 6.2: Circuit Diagram for Channel 3 The touch pad in Figure 6.2 above can be made by any kind of conductive material. For example, the touch pad can be a penny, or a piece of conductive glass. When pin 10 and pin 11 (measurement pins of channel 3) are correctly connected, the voltage of pin 2 (output pin of channel 3) is zero. A LED and a resistor between pin 2 and the power (high voltage) will be added into the circuit. When someone touches the touch pad, the LED will light up. The circuit diagram is shown in Figure 6.3 below:

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Capactive Touch Sensors

Figure 6.3:

Figure 6.3: Channel 3 connected with LED in its output There is a difference in the two leads of an LED. In Figure 6.3 above, the positive lead of LED goes into the power bus (high voltage) and the other lead connects pin 2 (output pin of channel 3) through a 330 resistor. The longer lead is the positive lead of the LED. The side view and top view of a LED are shown in Figure 6.4 below:

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Capactive Touch Sensors

Side view and top view of a LED from [5]


When the students understand how one channel works, they can start to build all four channels in the sensor. The circuit diagram with all four channels connected is shown in Figure 6.5 below:

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Capactive Touch Sensors

Four Channel Circuit Diagram By touching one touch pad, the student can light up the corresponding LED. For example, by touching touch pad 1, the student can light up LED 1. If the student touches touch pad 1 and 2, he can light up both LED 1 and 2. By touching all four touch pads at the same time, all the LEDs will be lit up.

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Capactive Touch Sensors

Now There are some pics that will definitely help us to Understand touch sensing Concept. : 1.

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Capactive Touch Sensors

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Capactive Touch Sensors

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Capactive Touch Sensors

And Most Important Check This One..

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P.S.
That was Actually my Supposed Project but Due to many unfortunate failures ( Well, Im a beginner here) and Unavailability of Components ( especially I.C.s ) stops me to proceed further in Capacitive Sensors Technology. But As a Student Is proposed to Submit a project for Minor Training Session So I Chose Resistive Touch Sensors. Well, because It was the Same Technology (but With Different Mechanism, Off course) And I was also very impressed with this technology. So, I Created Touch Hand Shake The Practical Model Project . AS,
So, Please Help me to improve myself by judging my project . Here Im posting The Links ALL My Project Related Stuff.

DO CHECK IT AND PLEASE HELP ME TO IMPROVE AND GET YOUR REQUIRED INFORMATION TOO.

The Project :
http://www.scribd.com/doc/60700557/ResistiveTouch-Sensors-With-a-practical-Modal-of-Touch-Hand-Shake

The Video :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew_SCXq0hs8

The Project (Slides) :


http://www.scribd.com/doc/70650286/Touch-Hand-Shake-a-k-a-Resistive-Touch-Sensors-Slides _____________________________________________________________________________________

ABHI SHARMA