Peratech creates fast-acting electronic nose using its QTC technology
May 11, 2012 // Julien Happich
Peratech is developing an electronic nose using its Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC) material.
This new sensor technology detects the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) very rapidly and can recover equally quickly, in a matter of seconds. QTC materials change their resistance when a force is applied and, in this case, the polymer content of the composite swells when exposed to VOCs. One form of Peratech's sensor uses a granular type of QTC material that provides a high surface area for absorption enabling it to detect levels of VOCs in the region of 10-100 ppm.
Fig. 1: Granular QTC used in Peratech's nose.
The sensor rapidly recovers once the VOCs have gone from the surrounding atmosphere and it is the speed of sensing and recovery that marks the difference between QTC sensors and those using other sensing technologies. An additional feature of the QTC technology is that it has very low power requirements.
"The electronic nose application was developed in conjunction with the Quantum Tunnelling Composite research group at the University of Durham," explained David Lussey, CTO of Peratech. "We are now looking for companies who are interested in licensing the technology from us to develop products."
Professor David Bloor, who is involved in a long-term collaboration with Peratech, added, "Quantum Tunnelling Composite is unique in the area of materials science and a team of researchers and students have been involved in the investigation of its properties. These never cease to amaze and open up different ways in which it can be used."
The conductive particles used in the QTC Electronic Nose have nano-sized features and are distributed in a non-conductive polymer. When a force is applied or swelling occurs, the particles move close enough for the electron flow between the particles to alter due to an effect called Quantum Tunnelling. The polymer used is selected for its response to the particular VOCs to be monitored.
Fig. 2: Peratech's electronic nose sensor.
QTC materials give enormous flexibility in the design, shape, thickness and style of a switch or touch sensor and can be made in a range of forms from traditional switch replacements, through textile and screen printed switches to innovative, pressure-sensitive QTC Touchscreens that allow for three dimensions of input.
Visit Peratech at www.peratech.com
Catcher drones to geo-fence industrial sites
November 27, 2014
Once more last October, drones were making the headlines in France, with unidentified units reportedly flying over the country's ...
Industry embraces 48V supply in the aim of bringing down emissions
ST, InvenSense X-Fab amongst MEMS award winners
Chip market for wireless sensor networks on 23% CAGR
Biometric credit card ready for mass production, says Card Tech
New class of layered materials drive PV innovations
November 27, 2014
Physicists at the University of Kansas have fabricated a substance from two different atomic sheets of a layer of graphene ...
Lauterbach, Symtavision intermesh software for better safety
Mouser launch design contest around NXP's dual PCB configurable logic
UHF could usher in 'super-Wi-Fi'
- Common Mode Rejection in Wide Input Range Op Amps
- Power Systems Design eBook
- Halogen-free options and increased performance for terminal blocks
- Wireless Power User Guide
InterviewCEO interview: Vicor powers after higher volume applications
Patrizio Vinciarelli, is one of the longest serving CEOs in electronics, having founded Vicor in 1981 and led the company ever since. At Electronica he told EE Times Europe that his company is investing ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Cherry is giving away five of its Energy Harvesting Evaluation kits, worth over 266 Euros each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win. Cherry's energy harvesting technology benefit mostly applications where a complex wire assembly and/or batteries would be inappropriate.
The required RF-energy is created by the mechanical actuation of the switch and the data is transmitted...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.