Peratech is working with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) to develop new formulations for its QTC materials. The project, supported by the Technology Strategy Board, will establish if existing commercial printing machinery can be used to print a new generation of printable electronics, including QTC sensors.
"The next innovation in electronics is being able to print complete circuit assemblies as this reduces unit costs dramatically," explained David Lussey, Peratech's cto. "Both active and passive components are being printed onto paper, textiles and plastics using flexographic printing processes. "The research project with CPI is designed to create QTC ink formulations that can be used in this and similar printing processes so that QTC pressure sensors and switches can be incorporated into these next generation, printed electronic circuits." The research project with CPI is halfway to completion, with several promising formulations being tested. The first run of printed QTC electronics using a standard flexographic press was completed in February. "The beauty of working with CPI is it has a development print line, so new formulations can be tested and feedback is available immediately," added Lussey. "This is very important as it enables us to experiment with printing the new formulations on different types of materials." Nigel Perry, CPI's ceo, added: "Our joint research on QTC print ink for volume printed electronics will open its use up for a huge number of possible applications. We have already shown that printing does not need to be done in proper cleanroom conditions, which reduces the production costs even more."