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Active thermal sensor for improved distributed temperature sensing in haptic arrays

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Sensors
Volume2018
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)9631236
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The efficacy of integrating temperature sensors into compliant pressure sensing technologies, such as haptic sensing arrays, is limited by thermal losses into the substrate. A solution is proposed here whereby an active heat sink is incorporated into the sensor to mitigate these losses, whilst still permitting the use of common VLSI manufacturing methods and materials to be used in the sensors fabrication. This active sink is capable of responding to unknown fluctuations in external temperature, i.e. the temperature that is to be measured, and directly compensates in real-time for the thermal power loss into the substrate by supplying an equivalent amount of power back into the thermal sensor. In this paper, the thermoelectric effects of the active heatsink/thermal sensor system are described and used to reduce the complexity of the system to a simple one-dimensional numerical model. This model is incorporated into a feedback system used to control the active heat sink and monitor the sensor output. A fabrication strategy is also described to show how such a technology can be incorporated into a common bonded silicon-on-insulator (BSOI) based capacitive pressure sensor array such as that used in some haptic sensing systems.