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Capacitive Sensing

Capacitive Sensing
Capacitive Sensing
Product Code : FDC1004-Q1
Product Description

Overview for Capacitive Sensing

Capacitive sensing is a high resolution, low cost, contactless sensing technique that can be applied to a variety of applications such as liquid level sensing, proximity sensing, gesture recognition, ice/rain detection, and collision avoidance.

The sensor in a capacitive sensing system is any conductor, such as copper on PCB, conductive ink, or a piece of metal, allowing for low-cost and highly-flexible system design. This conductor acts as a proximity sensor or liquid level sensor depending on the use case.

Getting started with capacitive sensing

Key benefits of TI capacitive sensing technology

  • TI's out of phase level sensing is unique in the industry and minimizes the impact of external interferers such as human hands that introduce measurement errors in capacitance sensing systems
  • Large input offset allows compensation of environmental variables such as temperature and humidity in addition to allowing remote sensing capabilities
  • Large shield drive minimizes EMI interference, focuses sensing direction, and reduces the effects of humidity and temperature changes
  • High resolution allows for distance object sensing with a small, inexpensive conductive sensor

Highlights of capacitive sensing technology

  • Strong reliability: Offers contactless sensing that eliminates mechanical wear
  • Great flexibility: Sensor size and shape can adapt to system geometry
  • Low system cost: Uses low cost sensors, either a piece of metal already existing in the system or a small, two-layer copper on PCB or a pressed foil or a copper tape or a conductive ink
  • High sensitivity: Sensitive to both conductive and non-conductive materials

Application notes


Using capacitive sensing for liquid level sensing

Capacitive sensing has gained popularity as a liquid level sensor due to the accuracy and resolution of the measurements as well as the simplicity, flexibility, and low cost of the sensor design.

Learn more

  • Capacitive-based liquid level sensing

Application notes

  • Out-of-phase liquid level technique (PDF, 600KB)
  • Ice buildup detection using TI's capacitive sensor (PDF, 4.9MB
  •  Using capacitive sensing for proximity sensing Capacitive sensing can be used as a low cost, flexible solution for a number of proximity sensing applications such as proximity wakeup in thermostats, appliances, and consumer goods; collision avoidance in industrial and automotive doors; and kick sensors and keyless entry in automotive doors.

    Capacitive-based human proximity detection for system wake-up & interruptBacklight and Smart lighting control by ambient light and proximity

    Automotive Capacitive Proximity Kick to Open Detection

    Reference Design Application notes

    Capacitive proximity sensing using the FDC1004 (PDF, 1.