Touchless touch-screen technology to restrain viruses spreading through contact
Indian Scientists have provided an affordable solution to develop a low-cost touch-cum-proximity sensor popularly called touchless touch sensor through a printing technique.
This touch sensor senses a proximal or hovers touch even from a distance of 9 cm from the device.
The breakthrough comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has triggered efforts to make lifestyle more adaptable to pandemic scenarios and requires measures to reduce the risk of viruses spreading, particularly in public places where touchscreens on self-service kiosks, ATMs, and vending machines are nearly inevitable.
Hence, technologies like these will help reduce the risk of viruses spreading particularly in public places.
Moreover, it has tremendous potential to be used in advanced smart electronic devices like touchless screens and sensors.
Recently Bengaluru based scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), and Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced and Scientific Research (JNCASR), autonomous institutes of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, have set up a semi-automated production plant for the production of printing-aided patterned (resolution of around 300 µm) transparent electrodes, which have the potential for being utilized in advanced touchless screen technologies.
This work by the team led by Prof. G U Kulkarni and co-workers and funded by DST-Nanomission at CeNS has been published recently in the journal ‘Materials Letters’ recently.
Dr. 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 Dr. Indrajit Mondal, another co-author in the research.
The novel low-cost patterned transparent electrodes have tremendous potential to be used in advanced smart electronic devices like touchless screens and sensors. This touchless touch sensor technology could assist in preventing the spread of viruses that spread through contact.
Prof G.U. Kulkarni is a President, JNCASR and Adjunct Professor at CeNS, Bangalore.
Prof. Kulkarni obtained his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1992 and carried out postdoctoral research at IISc (92- 93) and later at Cardiff University (Tokyo) in a Unilever project.
He joined JNCASR in 1995 as Faculty Fellow and has been a Professor since 2008. Having been the Chair of Materials Unit till 2011, he has held the positions of Dean Academic Affairs (11-13) as well as Dean-Faculty Affairs (13-15) positions before moving to Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS) as the Director. Prof. Kulkarni returned to JNCASR on Jan 29, this year, to take over as the President while continuing to hold Additional charge at CeNS.
His present research interests are focused on new strategies in synthesis of nonmaterial, nano-patterning and nano-device fabrication, including molecular systems.
His recipes emphasize the importance of simple design, near ambient working conditions, solution based processing as well as low cost instrumentation. His group strives to translate nano-research finding into affordable technology.