In this paper, a novel micro fingerprint sensor was proposed using densely arrayed micro heaters as the sensing
elements. Because it senses the temperature differences between the touching ridges and non-touching valleys of
fingerprint patterns, there is no electrical static discharge (ESD), and promising to realize robust sensing. By MEMS
process, it could be fabricated portably small size. Silicon-based and poyimide (PI) film-based approach was tried. In
the first case, due to its great thermal conductivity (λ-silicon: 150 W/m•K), special structure was necessary for the
thermal isolation that make the fabrication process complex and expensive. In the latter case, with the thickness of
25μm PI film (λ: 0.12 W/m•K) as the substrate, other special structure was not necessary for further thermal isolation,
and flexible enough to be easily attached to non-planar surface. The whole fabrication process was simple and achieved
in a low temperature range (< 130°C). The arrayed sensing elements were micro resistors made from sputtered platinum.
Because of its small thermal capacity (sensing element: 200nm thick /10μm wide) and effective thermal isolation, this
sensor was very sensitive (at 5V input, ΔT: 270°C /0.1μs). Characteristics of the sensor (silicon and PI film-based) were
introduced, and the sensing principle was demonstrated by experiments.