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
TSMC Capex to exceed $10B in FinFET ramp-up
October 20, 2014
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest chip foundry, said Thursday, Oct. 16, that it aims to ...
Supercomputer simulations point path to better Mg-ion batteries
Simpler circuit design unlocks power of superconducting devices
Analog IC sales to hit $43 billion in 2014, says Semico
Network testing via smartphone
Breakthrough for drive batteries? Ultra-fast battery charges in 2 minutes
October 17, 2014
Range anxiety is still one of the most powerful inhibitors for widespread acceptance of electric vehicles. But if it would ...
When the steering wheel is a computer
Bluetooth beacons nowhere precise enough, says BeSpoon
2D material underpins world’s thinnest electric generator
- 5 Best Practices for Designing Flexible Test Stations
- Intelligent PLCs Expand the Internet of Things
- Solutions for Millimeter Wave Wireless Backhaul
- Enter Linduino
InterviewCEO interview: AMS' Laney on driving a sensor-driven business
Kirk Laney, CEO of Austrian mixed-signal chip and sensor company AMS, wants to leverage the opportunity that technology affords to create new markets for sensors and sensor interfaces.
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, Oscium is giving away three of its iMSO-204L dual analogue iOS oscilloscopes, worth USD400 each. Designed with native Lightning compatibility, the iMSO-204L transforms the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch into an ultra-portable, two-channel oscilloscope.
Since Apple changed its connector, Oscium has been working to bring native compatibility to its customers. The third generation...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.