Flexible Organic Sensors for Biomechanical Measurements

T.N. Ng
University of California, San Diego,
United States

Keywords: flexible organic sensors

Summary:

Rapid, on-site assessment is highly desirable in the fields of both medical treatment and novel robotics. To achieve this goal, our research aims to develop low-cost, flexible, large-area sensor devices for different health applications. In this presentation, we discuss case studies for two different point-of-use applications: 1) Motor skills characterization. There is no objective metric for evaluating motor skill training progress, and current assessments rely on qualitative surveys. We have fabricated an instrumented glove with touch sensors on textile for motor characterization. This glove could find future use for characterizing motor skills of people suffering from autism, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological motor disorders. 2) Physiological measurement. Cardiovascular monitors are being developed using organic photosensors responsive to the short wavelength infrared (SWIR) spectra. Currently conventional SWIR sensors are limited by complex die transfer and bonding processing. Here we are advancing SWIR photodiodes by using a new generation of semiconducting polymers that are processed by solution processing techniques and allow simple direct deposition. The bulk heterojunction photodiodes show photo-response spanning from the visible to 1.7 micron. We develop a physical model to pinpoint the origins of efficiency losses by decoupling the exciton dissociation efficiency and charge collection efficiency, and identify avenues that will improve sensor detectivity. Several demonstrations will show the various potential applications of organic SWIR photodiodes including blood pulse measurements, spectroscopic identification, and image reconstruction.