Design factors for flexible capacitive sensors in ambient intelligence
Capacitive sensors in both touch and proximity varieties are becoming more common in many industrial and research applications. Each sensor requires one or more electrodes to create an electric field and measure changes thereof. The design and layout of those electrodes is crucial when designing applications and systems. It can influence range, detectable objects, or refresh rate. In the last years, new measurement systems and materials, as well as advances in rapid prototyping technologies have vastly increased the potential range of applications using flexible capacitive sensors. This paper contributes an extensive set of capacitive sensing measurements with different electrode materials and layouts for two measurement modes - self-capacitance and mutual capacitance. The evaluation of the measurement results reveals how well-suited certain materials are for different applications. We evaluate the characteristics of those materials for capacitive sensing and enable application designers to choose the appropriate material for their application.