Tunelling composites win another prize

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

David Lussey, the inventor of Quantum Tunnelling Composites, has just won the Tomorrow's World Industry Award.

David Lussey, the inventor of Quantum Tunnelling Composites, has just won the Tomorrow's World Industry Award.
QTCs change from electrical insulator to conductor when pressed, stretched or twisted. The effect arises because tiny conducting particles within them are brought close enough together to allow electrons to tunnel across the space between them. The dependence of tunnelling current upon conductor particle separation is exponential, therefore an enormous resistance range can be controlled by relatively small changes in separation. The maximum working voltage for the material is normally 70V.
The materials are said to be economical to manufacture and easy to use, and can be supplied in bulk, granular or coating form. A small amount of the material is all that is required to provide solid state switching, pressure sensing or proportional control in electrical circuits. The range of potential applications is vast, and it is expected that the novel materials will become a standard component in millions of products over the next five to ten years.
David Lussey, working with his son Chris, discovered QTC technology in 1995. They subsequently formed a company – Peratech – to continue product development and license new applications. At the same time, they have been working with scientists at Durham University to clarify the complex physics that underlie how the material works.
Prior to winning the Tomorrow’s World Industry Award, Peratech had already achieved significant recognition in the UK, including the Millennium Products Award, the Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Innovation Award, a Design Council Award, the Spirit of Innovation Award, and three DTI SMART Awards.
Strong interest in QTC technology is being shown by the mobile phone, oil and gas, toys, automotive and aerospace industries. Peratech even has NASA as a customer. The Company is also recruiting licensees in a range of industry areas to design and develop new product applications using the technology. Product applications in which QTC technology has been demonstrated include on/off switching, pressure sensitive switching, proportional control of electrical loads, hostile environment switching, pressure/tension/torsion sensing, pressure mapping, impact monitoring, volatile organic compound and gas sensing. More information from Peratech

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