There is a rapid increase in the use of affordable electronic devices and human-machine interfaces (HMIs) with short serviceable life in almost every aspect of our lives. It’s estimated that the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and e-waste generated in year 2021 was 57.5 million metric tons (Mt) and it is expected that the production of e-waste will increase to 110 Mt by the end of 2050. To mitigate these wastes, green HMIs are required which can be customized for multiple applications and can be recycled or disposed of with minimal environmental impact. This work presents customizable graphite-on-paper (GOP) based keypad consists of interdigitated capacitive (IDC) touch sensors is demonstrated as HMIs to interact with different electronic and media applications wirelessly. The GOP keypads are fabricated through facile and green fabrication process by direct writing of graphite on flexible paper substrate. The GOP keypads can be fabricated in a home setting as the required materials are readily available, i.e., paper, pencils, Arduino. The GOP keypads can be easily disposed of or recycled at the end of its life or requirement due to the employment of biodegradable materials like paper and graphite. The IDC touch sensors are optimized by analyzing the number of electrode fingers, finger’s width, finger’s overlap length and spacing between the electrode fingers. The same GOP keypad is customized to interact with different electronic and media applications wirelessly i.e., laptop cursor navigation, calculator app on mobile, numeric keypad etc. The customizable GOP keypads have potential to be used as green wireless HMIs to enforce a circular economy by mitigating electronic and plastic waste, which leads to the vision of a sustainable and green world.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-03-20
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Muhammad Usman Qadir and Muhammad Jaleel for their kind support.