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PIEZOMAT Project Targets New Fingerprint Technology

Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
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Ultra-high resolution sensing uses vertical piezoelectric nanowire matrices to reconstruct the smallest features of human fingerprints.

CEA-Leti announced the launch of PIEZOMAT, a research project funded by the European Commission to design and implement a new technology of fingerprint sensor that enables ultra-high resolution reconstruction of the smallest features of human fingerprints.

PIEZOMAT will focus on establishing a proof-of-concept of the technology and demonstrating its potential for large-scale market penetration.

The Leti-coordinated project includes partners from France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania and Hungary. It aims to develop robust fingerprint sensors with resolutions beyond today’s 500dpi international standards, which is the minimum resolution required by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation for automated fingerprint identification purposes.

The technology relies on integrating and interconnecting a very large number of piezoelectric elements on a chip. These elements are made of vertical zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires grown directly onto a network of interconnected electrodes manufactured via microelectronics processing.

The technology combines innovative manufacturing processes for the nanowire patterning, growth and encapsulation, along with multi-physics-model-supported design and dedicated characterization and test infrastructures. Aimed primarily at highly reliable security and ID applications, PIEZOMAT is an opportunity for academic-SME-industry collaboration, involving in particular Specific Polymers, a small company provider of polymer solutions, and Morpho, the Safran Group unit that is the market leader in security solutions and end-user of the technology.

The three-year, €2.9M project is part of the EC’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7) for research and technological development.

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