Flexible fingerprint sensor on plastic designed for biometric applications

January 20, 2016 - 

FlexEnable and ISORG have introduced a large area flexible fingerprint sensor on plastic designed for biometric applications.

The fingerprint technology is able to measure the fingerprint and also the configuration of veins in the fingers, providing additional security versus that of a surface fingerprint alone. Measuring in with a 8.6 cm x 8.6 cm active area, 84µm pitch and 1024 x 1024 pixel resolution, this flexible sensor is only 0.3 mm thick and can operate in visible and near infra-red up to wavelengths of 900 nm.

This new sensor technology has been achieved by deposition of organic printed photodetectors (OPD), pioneered by ISORG, onto a plastic organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) backplane, developed by FlexEnable, to create a flexible fingerprint sensor that is ultra-thin, light, robust and lensless.

The large label-thin sensing area can be applied to almost any surface or even wrapped around objects such as a car steering wheel or a credit card with integrated biometric detection.

The companies say that flexible plastic fingerprint sensors bring cost advantages to large area manufacturing compared to using conventional silicon technology. Additionally, fingerprint sensors made of plastic have similar optical performances to conventional optical fingerprint sensors such as sensitivity, linearity, and low noise, but without the need for expensive and bulky optics. And large area sensors allow more information to be collected which means higher security and lower false rejection rate.

Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, said: “FlexEnable’s ground-breaking flexible electronics technology in combination with ISORG’s unrivalled expertise in OPDs and large area image sensors brings game-changing capabilities for biometric detection that can be applied to almost any surface – anything from door handles to wrists. For example, imagine a mobile device whose surface or edges know who is holding or touching the device. Such capabilities are viable because of the flexibility, thinness, and much lower cost per unit area compared to silicon area sensors.“

Jean-Yves Gomez, CEO of ISORG, said: “This break-through development will spark the creation of next-generation products in biometrics. No other solution can offer large area sensing as well as finger print and veins recognition while being flexible, light and robust. Moreover, our team is able to provide reference design as well as image improvement algorithms and illumination solutions to ease the sensor integration into new applications.”

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.