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Boffins create touch sensor which can feel through steel

by on13 May 2013

QTC Ultra Sensor is a reality

UK outfit Peratech created an ultra sensitive touch sensor that can respond to light touches even through steel or glass.

Peratech's CTO David Lussey announced that his company as designed a sensor which is so ensitive that it can be mounted behind a 0.1mm stainless steel or 0.5mm glass sheet and still detect the pressure of a finger on the top of the sheet. Peratech says the QTC Ultra Sensor can either be fitted as a small piece of QTC sheeting or screen printed on the back of the steel plate as required by the product designer, eliminating this problem.

It can also work on plastics, glass or wood provided that there is enough flex to activate the QTC switch. Lussey thinks that the technology will end up behind translucent materials to create secret till lit buttons. 

QTC material has nano-sized particles of conductive material evenly distributed in a non-conductive polymer. When a force is applied the particles move close enough for electrons to flow between the particles using an effect called Quantum Tunnelling. QTC technology has been used to make the world’s thinnest switch at only a few microns thick and can be made into any shape required or printed with whatever level of responsiveness to pressure that is needed.

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