Capacitive Sensor Estimation Based on Self-Configurable Reference Capacitance

ISSN: 1877-6124 (Online)
ISSN: 2210-6863 (Print)

Volume 5, 2 Issues, 2015

Download PDF Flyer

Recent Patents on Signal Processing (Discontinued)

This journal supports open access

Aims & ScopeAbstracted/Indexed in

View Full Editorial Board

Purchase Articles Order Reprints

Capacitive Sensor Estimation Based on Self-Configurable Reference Capacitance

Recent Patents on Signal Processing (Discontinued), 3(1): 12-21.

Author(s): N. Petrellis, C. Spathis, K. Georgakopoulou and A Birbas.

Affiliation: Computer Science and Telecommunications Dept., TEI of Larisa, TEI Campus, Larisa 41110, Greece.


A number of capacitance readout systems presented in the literature and covered by recent patents are briefly described while a biosensor array readout system developed by the authors is presented in this paper. This biosensor array readout system is based on a charge sensitive amplifier that estimates accurately the difference between a selfconfigurable reference capacitance and a biosensor. In the specific implementation, the self-configurable reference capacitance is automatically configured to a value between 0 and 630pF in steps of 10pF. The configuration of the reference capacitance is controlled by a simple finite state machine that can be implemented using a simple CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic Device) such as Altera EPM7064SLC44-10. The proposed system can be used to measure an absolute biosensor capacitance of up to 640pF with a theoretical sensitivity of 2.5fF. The 2.5fF resolution can be achieved using a low cost/high accuracy 12-bit ADC (Analogue/Digital Converter) like a one that has been described by the authors in a recent patent instead of a 17-bit ADC that would be required to measure the biosensor capacitance value with the same accuracy if a constant 320pF reference capacitor had been used. For this reason, the proposed architecture leads to a lower area/power and higher accuracy implementation compared to a read out circuit that would use a fixed reference capacitance. Although the design of the proposed system was inspired by the development of a biosensor array readout system, a similar architecture can be used by any sensor application that should support a broad capacitive input range with high resolution.


Biosensor readout, configurable reference capacitors, analogue-to-digital conversion, charge sensitive amplifier, switched capacitance interface.

Download Free Order Reprints Order Eprints Rights and Permissions

Article Details

Volume: 3
Issue Number: 1
First Page: 12
Last Page: 21
Page Count: 10
DOI: 10.2174/2210686311303010003

Related Journals

Related eBooks

Webmaster Contact: Copyright © 2017 Bentham Science