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Analysis and Design of Piezoelectric Material-Based Touchpad Devices

Xu, Zhengze (2023) Analysis and Design of Piezoelectric Material-Based Touchpad Devices. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis proposes using piezoelectric material as a new form of touch detection
technology. Piezoelectric material is a material that accumulates electrical charges in response to
stress. The thesis first introduces the working principle of piezoelectric material and how it could
be implemented as a sensor. Then three ways of utilizing this material's property as a touchpad are
proposed: transverse mode, longitudinal mode, and transverse shear mode. Specific designs for all
three modes are sketched, the transverse mode is manufactured and tested, and the result is
analyzed. The material used in this thesis is lead zirconium titanate (PZT). This material is chosen
for its relatively high piezoelectric charge constant and electromechanical coupling effect. The
principle of position detection is by equilibrium moments analysis, where the sensor's data comes
from measuring the voltage output change by piezoelectric material under different stress
conditions. This method can measure the position and force of a single touchpoint. The touchpad
created with the transverse mode is very sensitive as it has various voltage outputs with pressure.
It can detect pressure as light as a slight touch with gloves on. The experiment results show that
compared to the traditional sensors used in touchpads, the piezoelectric material based touchpad
exhibits the advantages of accuracy and low energy consumption.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Xu, Zhengzezhx33@pitt.eduzhx33
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorWang, Qing-mingqiw4@pitt.eduqiw4
Committee MemberSmolinski, Patrickpatsmol@pitt.edupatsmol
Committee MemberBan, Hengheng.ban@pitt.eduheng.ban
Date: 19 January 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 November 2022
Approval Date: 19 January 2023
Submission Date: 8 November 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 103
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Mechanical Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Piezoelectric material touchpad
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2024 06:00
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2024 06:00


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