Abstract

The principles of fingerprint imaging are based on scattered-light detection, and the technique is proposed for a compact input device. Light enters a glass plate from its edge and propagates inside the plate by repeating the total internal reflection at the boundaries with air. The ridges of a finger pressed onto the plate scatter the light, which then leaks out of the plate. This scattered light is imaged by an array of gradient-index optical fibers and an image sensor. A prototype sensor has been developed: The distance between the finger and the image sensor is 13 mm. The images obtained with this prototype clearly show not only the ridges and valleys but also the pores in the ridges.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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