This new class of temperature sensors is made from solution-processable semiconductors coated between conductive rows and columns of passive matrix architecture. In a press release, IDTechEx states that both temperature-sensing semiconductor layers and conductors can be printed on flexible substrates such as PET, enabling low-cost production in a variety of shapes and sizes.
IDTechEx has identified two main reasons why the use of these sensors is restricted. First, existing temperature sensors are cheap, well-understood, and very small. According to a report titled “Printed and Flexible Sensors 2022-2032: Technologies, Players, Markets,” traditional inorganic thermistors or platinum resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) are certainly inflexible, but are generally so small that they can be components. Can be incorporated. Alternatively, the device does not impose form factor constraints.
A recent study by IDTechEx shows the rapid emergence of a new class of temperature sensors that provide spatial resolution along with thin film formats. Moreover, even with the ability to provide spatially decomposed temperature resolution at low cost, it may be surprising that printed temperature sensors are not yet widespread.
Second, heat diffusion is very slow. This means that temperature gradients are usually very gentle when compared, for example, to spatial changes in force or light intensity. As a result, several thermistors or RTDs embedded in the heat transfer layer provide equivalent insights, often without the need to introduce measurements with fine spatial resolution.
However, both of these factors apply, but in new application areas, the combination of spatially resolved temperature measurements, low-cost roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing, and flexible thin-film formats prints temperatures. Demand for sensors is projected to grow significantly over the next decade as more companies develop this technology.
This technology transition has already created great opportunities for battery manufacturers. Heat management is very important for batteries, as evidenced by anyone who has noticed that smartphone battery life plummets when exposed to heat or cold. Batteries operate optimally over a narrow temperature range, but hotspots provide early signs of malfunction.
Of course, you need a temperature sensor to track the temperature of the battery to adjust the heating or cooling as needed. Printed temperature sensors are ideal for this purpose because they are lightweight, thin, inexpensive and mass-produced, provide good thermal contact with pouch cells, and can be laminated with thin film heaters to produce an integrated thermal management solution. ..
Printed temperature sensors are also very promising for healthcare applications. An important attribute here is compatibility, as the printed thin film sensor can adapt to the curvature of the skin. In fact, there is growing interest in continuous healthcare monitoring, offering a wide range of opportunities for many types of print sensors. It continuously tracks various parameters such as heart rate and body temperature, enabling remote patient monitoring.
Certain healthcare applications currently being investigated for printed temperature sensors include wound monitoring because the healing process is associated with increased blood flow and therefore slightly elevated temperatures. Therefore, the spatial resolution available in the printed temperature sensor allows the area of the wound to be tracked over time.
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ID TechEx in the UK describes the range of printed temperature sensors
Source link ID TechEx in the UK describes the range of printed temperature sensors