Flexible Organic Sensors: Short-wave infrared and Biometric Sensors

Tse Nga (Tina) Ng
Associate Professor – Electrical and Computer Engineering – UC San Diego


Photosensors responsive to the short wavelength infrared (SWIR) spectra are used in a variety of applications including environmental monitoring and medical diagnosis. However, most organic semiconductors do not absorb in the SWIR region. Here we show novel donor-acceptor polymers with narrow bandgap responsive in the SWIR region, and the polymers are processed into bulk heterojunction photodiodes with photoresponse up to wavelength of 1.8 micron. The performances of devices with different polymer structures were compared through metrics including detectivity, quantum efficiency, response time and rectification ratio. Example applications including blood pulse measurements will be demonstrated.

 In addition to optoelectronics, this tutorial will also show an example of an instrumented glove for augmenting spasticity assessment. We present the system design and the validation that allows an objective, repeatable metric that improve resolution over the current best practices. The glove measures the power required to move a patient’s arm and shows reduced inter- and intra-rater variability. The tutorial will end with recommendations to improve spasticity assessment and patient care.


Dr. Tse Nga Tina Ng is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California San Diego (UCSD), USA. She received her PhD in Physical Chemistry in 2006 under the supervision of Professor John Marohn. Subsequently she worked at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC, a Xerox Company) before joining UCSD in 2015. Her projects involved engineering solution materials and inventing new devices and systems for ink-jet and other types of digital fabrication. Some example prototypes include conformal organic photosensors for x-ray imaging and printed circuits for sensing in smart packaging application. Her work on printed systems has received the 2012 Innovation Award from Flextech Alliance and has been named Runner-up for the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award. She is a member of the External Advisory Board for Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) and is on the Editorial Board of the journal Flexible Printed Electronics.

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