University of Cambridge > > CAPE Advanced Technology Lecture Series > Semiconductor sensor and actuator technologies for augmented reality and human-machine interfaces

Semiconductor sensor and actuator technologies for augmented reality and human-machine interfaces

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We will in this presentation give an overview of sensors and actuators that are emerging and that will in the future lead to more intuitive interactions between man and machine. Machine sensors that allow to interact with humans today are mostly limited to sound and imaging. Robots of the future will have to incorporate more human-like features and senses for intuitive interactions with humans. We are working on adding a third essential sense to vision and sound, namely touch. To that end, we are integrating arrays of micromachined ultrasound transducer arrays, fabricated in a semiconductor processing platform, to generate dynamically reconfigurable pressure points in air for vibrotactile sensation. On the other side, semiconductor-based sensors can be designed to operate beyond the realm of human senses, and can thus augment our reality. We work on miniaturization of such sensors, as the targeted form factor would have to fit in wearables. The presentation will provide an overview of above evolutions, suitable technologies, and challenges ahead.


Paul Heremans received the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium, in 1990. From 1984 to 1990, he was a research assistant and senior research assistant grantee of the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (NFWO), working on hot-carrier degradation mechanisms in CMOS . In 1990, he joined the opto-electronics group of imec, pioneering optical inter-chip interconnects and high-efficiency III -V thin-film surface-textured light-emitting diodes. He started the organic semiconductor activities and then the perovskite activities at imec in 1998 and 2014, respectively. His work was included in the fifth “Scientific American 50” for its business contribution for advancing RFID in 2006, and he was selected as Top-50 Tech Pioneer 2017 in De Tijd, Belgium. In 2012, he was the beneficiary of an advanced ERC grant “EPOS CRYSTALLI — Epitaxial thin-film organic semiconductor crystals and devices”, and in 2018 he was granted a second advanced ERC grant “ULTRA-LUX — Ultra-Bright Thin-Film Light Emitting Devices and Lasers” (see Paul is Vice President and Senior Fellow at imec, and part-time professor at the Electrical Engineering department of KULeuven. Paul is also editor of the journal Organic Electronics (see Paul’s researcher ID is M-7123-2017, ORCID number 0000-0003-2151-1718 and Google scholar XqOBPJcAAAAJ.

This talk is part of the CAPE Advanced Technology Lecture Series series.

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