In Berlin last week, IDTechEx introduced a new award for a 'Toxicant Replacement Hero'. IDTechEx Chairman, Dr Peter Harrop, explained why the time was right to have this award: "In the devices and materials used in our industries there are poisons about to be banned such as cadmium in QLED television in 2019 in Europe, toxicants continuing to be used at apparently safe levels and relatively toxicant-free alternatives. IDTechEx created this award as we wish to promote those alternatives such as indium-based QLEDs, supercapacitors unable to produce cyanide, photovoltaics without arsenic, electronic ink without volatile organic compounds VOC such as toluene, and 3D printing without carcinogens. Even though these toxicants are usually at very safe levels, the alternatives make more sense as laws tighten, volumes sometimes reach billions and brand enhancement is sought."
The first Toxicant Replacement Hero Award was presented to Quantum Technology Supersensors. David Lussey, Director of Quantum Technology Supersensors, commented, "We are very excited to have received this award. The development of our 'environmentally friendly' smart functional Quantum Technology Supersensor™ (QTSS) printable inks for pressure/force sensing allows product designers across many applications and markets to create game-changing, differentiating and more sustainable products whilst enabling electronic environmental impact reduction, sensor weight reduction, efficiency gains and cost reduction. QTSS inks allow the creation of flexible, smart functional pressure sensing surfaces and 3D Force Touch 'without costing the earth'!"
Dr Harrop continued, "A whole new range of differentiating and more sustainable products can now be created, enabling electronic environmental impact reduction, sensor weight reduction, efficiency gains and cost reduction. QTSS™ magnetite based printable inks do not contain dangerous carcinogenic solvents such as the chlorobenzene or toluene used by others. Indeed, the new materials are easy to separate out for recycling, are skin and food contact safe and achieve functionalities otherwise unattainable, demonstrating unprecedented controllability over a wide range of conduction and sensitivities yet are extremely low in electrical noise. They are anisotropic and change from 'insulator' to 'conductor' under pressure."
Image: Peter Harrop, IDTechEx and Josephine Charnley, Quantum Technology Supersensors