Peratech presented with Queen's Award for Innovation 2012 for its QTC touch technology
Quantum Tunnelling Composites form an entire area of Material Science that was discovered by Peratech's founder and CTO, David Lussey. Protected by numerous worldwide patents, it has a wide range of applications from robotics to automotive and from touch screens to consumer electrical products and has sales worth millions of pounds to companies around the world.
The Queen's Award for Enterprise is the UK's most prestigious Award for business performance and recognises and rewards outstanding achievement by UK companies. The Innovation category is for continuous innovation and development, sustained over not less than five years to levels that are outstanding for the size of a company's operations.
At the ceremony, David Lussey, said "We are so delighted that a small Yorkshire company has been recognised as being a technology innovator that is changing the world in so many different areas. Almost anywhere that needs a switch or a sensor, we can almost always provide a solution that is better, cheaper, more sensitive and more reliable. Switch technology has hardly changed in two hundred years - QTC innovates with solid state solutions using quantum effects that belong in the twenty first century!"
Founded in 1996, Peratech is a privately held company based in Richmond, North Yorkshire with 25 employees. It commercialised its QTC technology at the beginning of 2006 and is currently working with a number of key technology clients who are implementing QTC sensing technology within their own products. Its business is essentially the IP licensing model that has been proven to be rapidly scalable and highly profitable for the likes of ARM and many others. It is profitable with 100% of sales being to overseas' customers making it an excellent example of British innovation bringing in global revenue. Peratech is a rare example of a university spin-in with a close working relationship with the University of Durham who are researching into the properties of Quantum Tunnelling Composites.
QTC is a patented technology that uses metallic and non-metallic filler particles combined in an elastomeric binder. When pressure is applied, the electrical resistance drops in proportion to the amount of pressure, which allows sophisticated Human Machine Interface (HMI) designs to be created that react to variations in pressure. QTC technologies' unique properties enable it to be made into force sensitive switches of any shape or size typically using screen printing so that they can be as thin as 75 microns. QTC is also low power and interfaces can be designed with no start resistance so that without pressure, the switch draws no power and passes no current. QTC is so sensitive so it can be used to detect even very small changes due to compression, tension or other stresses. It could even be used as a microphone as it is sensitive enough to be able to detect changes in air pressure caused by noise, speech or music.
The most exciting recent innovation is the development of QTC Clear(TM) that was launched in 2011. This transparent version of QTC can be used to create touch screens that have all the benefits of the existing Resistive and Capacitive touch screen technologies but with none of their drawbacks. Plus, being force sensitive, they can sense not only x and y input but also z, i.e. input interaction is now three dimensional. This will enable a whole new generation of touchscreens to be created and a major, multi-million dollar license deal with a Japanese manufacture has already been signed.
Winner - 2012 Technology Strategy Board SMART Award
Winner - 2011 Printed Electronics Award
Winner - 2011 British Engineering Excellence Award
Winner - 2011 Growing Business Award
Finalist - 2011 Elektra Award
Peratech is the inventor and world leader in Quantum Tunnelling Composite technology. Already widely used in robotics and defence, Peratech commercialised its QTC technology at the beginning of 2006 and is currently working with a number of key technology clients who are implementing QTC sensing technology within their own products.
QTC materials give enormous flexibility in the design, shape, thickness and style of a switch or pressure sensor and can be made in a range of elastomeric forms, including coatings and inks (down to thicknesses of 10 microns), 'bulk' silicone or rubber and textile forms. Peratech pioneered the creation of electronic switches made from textiles as early as 2001. QTC has been recognised through numerous International awards and accolades including "Tomorrow's World Industry Award 2002", "Saatchi & Saatchi Innovation Award 2000" and "European Electronics Industry Award 2004".
QTC materials have been used by organisations such as NASA, ILC Dover, Shadow Robotics and numerous government agencies worldwide. Peratech also owns SOFTswitch(TM) the pioneering creator of textile switching and Eleksen(TM) , the world leader in touch sensitive interactive textiles for electronics interface design. Further information is available from www.peratech.com