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Fingerpad Contact Mechanics and Friction under Electroadhesion

Antonio Papangelo's picture

A new research topic opened in Forntiers in Mechanical Engineering.

Electrovibration is a powerful technology in surface haptics providing efficient tactile feedback on capacitive touchscreens. For this purpose, an alternating electric potential is applied to the conductive layer of the screen which results in electrostatic attraction between the skin of the moving finger and the touch surface that in turn increases friction. The latter can be controlled by modulating the waveform, amplitude, and frequency of the input voltage to create realistic virtual textures and shapes. Due to the variety of potential applications of this kind of variable friction displays in smartphones, tablets, navigation devices or interactive kiosks, the long-known effect of electrovibration has regained great interest, triggering intensive research. However, although some very instructive experimental and theoretical works have emerged from it, our knowledge of the underlying contact mechanics processes remains limited. This is not surprising, since human skin exhibits very complex tribological behavior even without electroadhesion. It consists of a multilayered, anisotropic non-linear viscoelastic material with a multiscale roughness on its surface. In addition, the material properties are strongly influenced by the skin hydration level, and tribological properties depend on environmental conditions like temperature or humidity and lubrication as well. Thus, appropriate modeling and simulation with the aim to correctly reproduce all contact mechanical quantities is a major challenge.

More info here, at the RT web page.


Submission Deadlines


28 February 2022 Abstract

27 May 2022 Manuscript


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