Design and fabrication technology of low profile tactile sensor with digital interface for whole body robot skin

Mitsutoshi Makihata, Masanori Muroyama, Shuji Tanaka, Takahiro Nakayama, Yutaka Nonomura, Masayoshi Esashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Covering a whole surface of a robot with tiny sensors which can measure local pressure and transmit the data through a network is an ideal solution to give an artificial skin to robots to improve a capability of action and safety. The crucial technological barrier is to package force sensor and communication function in a small volume. In this paper, we propose the novel device structure based on a wafer bonding technology to integrate and package capacitive force sensor using silicon diaphragm and an integrated circuit separately manufactured. Unique fabrication processes are developed, such as the feed-through forming using a dicing process, a planarization of the Benzocyclobutene (BCB) polymer filled in the feed-through and a wafer bonding to stack silicon diaphragm onto ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) wafer. The ASIC used in this paper has a capacitance measurement circuit and a digital communication interface mimicking a tactile receptor of a human. We successfully integrated the force sensor and the ASIC into a 2.5 × 2.5 × 0.3 mm die and confirmed autonomously transmitted packets which contain digital sensing data with the linear force sensitivity of 57,640 Hz/N and 10 mN of data fluctuation. A small stray capacitance of 1.33 pF is achieved by use of 10 µm thick BCB isolation layer and this minimum package structure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2374
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 21


  • Benzocyclobutene
  • MEMS-CMOS integration
  • Sensor network
  • Tactile sensor
  • Through silicon via
  • Wafer level packaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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