Indian scientists develop touch-free sensor screen to cut virus spread

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At a time when the Covid pandemic has drawn focus to the potential spread of infections through the use of touch screen devices like smartphones, scientists here have come up with an solution in the form of a low-cost touch-cum-proximity sensor popularly called touch-less touch sensor, through a printing technique.

Scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), and Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced and Scientific Research (JNCASR) in Bengaluru have set up a semi-automated production plant for the production of printing-aided patterns, with resolution of around 300 Aum. These electrodes have potential uses in advanced touchless screen technologies.

This work by the team led by G.U. Kulkarni and co-workers and funded by DST-Nanomission at CeNS has been published recently in the journal `Materials Letters`.

Ashutosh K Singh, a scientist working on this project, said, “We have fabricated a touch sensor which senses a proximal or hover touch even from a distance of 9 cm from the device.”

“We are making a few more prototypes using our patterned electrodes to prove their feasibility for other smart electronic applications. These patterned electrodes can be made available to interested industries and R&D labs on a request basis to explore collaborative projects,” said Indrajit Mondal, another co-author in the research.

The novel low-cost patterned transparent electrodes have the potential to be used in advanced smart electronic devices like touch-free screens and sensors. This touchless touch sensor technology could assist in preventing the spread of viruses that spread through contact, the developers said.


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