Capacitance is the underlying technology that powers most touchscreens. All capacitive touchscreens use the technology to detect touch commands. They don’t rely on pressure, nor do they rely on conductive contacts or traces. Capacitive touchscreens measure changes in an electrostatic field, known as capacitance, to determine when and where touch commands occur. There are different types of capacitive touchscreens, though, one of the most common being self-capacitance.

What Is a Self-Capacitance Touchscreen?

A self-capacitance touchscreen is a special type of capacitive touchscreen device that measures capacitance at each column or row of the interface’s electrodes.

Like all capacitive touchscreens, it features electrodes embedded within the display interface. These electrodes are responsible for producing a uniform electrostatic field, which the self-capacitance touchscreen measures to detect touch commands. Touching the display interface with your finger will result in the absorption of some of its electrostatic field. Self-capacitance touchscreens are unique because their electrodes operate independently of each other at their columns and rows.

Advantages of Self-Capacitance Touchscreens

With their arrangement of electrodes that operate independently of each other at their columns and rows, self-capacitance touchscreens are highly sensitive. They can detect touch commands while requiring less pressure than that of other capacitive touchscreens.

In many cases, you don’t even have to press down on the display interface. As long as your finger is close to the display interface, it will draw some of the device’s electrostatic field, thereby triggering a touch command.

Self-capacitance touchscreens also provide high-quality images. When compared to resistive touchscreens, they tend to offer higher resolutions and better overall image quality. If you’re planning to watch videos or other media on it, you should choose a capacitive touchscreen, such as a self-capacitance touchscreen.

Disadvantages of Self-Capacitance Touchscreens

Unlike mutual-capacitance touchscreens, self-capacitance touchscreens don’t support multi-touch commands. They can only detect a single touch command performed at any given time, meaning multi-touch functionality isn’t possible.

Self-capacitance touchscreens also require the use of a bare finger. You can’t control a self-capacitance touchscreen using a standard stylus. Styluses are made of plastic or other nonconductive materials, so they won’t absorb the device’s electrostatic field.

It’s important to note that some manufacturers use both technologies in their respective touchscreen devices. Rather than only using self-capacitance or mutual-capacitance technology, they use them both. As a result, they are able to offer the benefits of both self-capacitance or mutual-capacitance touchscreens.