BUSINESS: IDTechEx Discusses Whether It’s Finally Time To Print Temperature Sensors

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Daniel Webster, dWeb.News Publisher

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IDTechEx

Oct 18, 2021, 07: 40 ET

BOSTON, Oct. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Think of a temperature sensor – and a traditional glass thermometer, or perhaps a small thermistor would probably spring to mind. However, a new class of temperature sensors is rapidly emerging that offers spatial resolution together with a thin-film format.

This new class of temperature sensors are made from a solution processed semiconductor. The sensor is coated with conductive columns and rows in a passive matrix structure. Flexible substrates like PET can be printed with both the conductors and the temperature sensing semiconducting layers. This allows for low-cost production in a variety of sizes and shapes.

Why now

With the ability to provide spatially resolved temperature resolution at a low cost, it might seem surprising that printed temperature sensors are not already widespread. IDTechEx identifies two reasons.

Firstly, existing temperature sensors can be very inexpensive, easy to understand, and small. Although conventional inorganic temperature sensors or platinum resistive temperatures detectors (RTDs), are not flexible, their size is sufficient to be integrated into any component or device without any form factor restrictions.

Second, thermal diffusion can be slow. Thermal diffusion is slow, which means that thermal gradients can be very gentle, especially when compared with spatial variation in force and light intensity.

However, both these factors are still true. The combination of spatially resolved temperature measurements, low-cost roll to roll (R2R), and flexible thin-film formats means that the demand for printed temperature sensors will grow significantly over the next decade. There is an increasing number companies working on this technology.

Battery monitoring for electric vehicles

A forthcoming increase in electric vehicle (EV) adoption is almost unarguable, with multiple governments legislating to ban the sale of internal combustion engines for vehicles at various points in the future. The technological shift is opening up huge opportunities for battery producers.

Thermal management is crucial for batteries. Anyone who has seen their smartphone’s battery life drop when exposed to heat or cold can attest. The best battery performance is achieved within a limited temperature range. Hot spots may indicate malfunctions.

Temperature sensors are required to keep track of the battery temperature in order to adjust heating and cooling accordingly. Temperature sensors printed in thin and lightweight materials are ideal for this purpose. They can also be laminated with thin-film heaters to create an integrated thermal management system.

Healthcare applications

Printed temperature sensors are also highly promising for healthcare applications. Conformity is key here, as printed thin-film sensors are able to adapt to the curvature and shape of the skin. There is a growing interest in continuous healthcare monitoring. This will open up many opportunities for different types of printed sensors. This involves continuous monitoring of several parameters, such as temperature and heart rate, to allow remote patient monitoring.

Wound monitoring is a specific application for printed temperature sensors in healthcare. This is because wound healing involves increased blood flow and therefore slightly higher temperatures. Printing temperature sensors allow for the tracking of the location and time of wounds.

Find out more

More information regarding printed temperature sensors, and indeed about any of the wide variety of printed/flexible sensor technologies, can be found in the recently updated IDTechEx report “Printed and Flexible Sensors 2022-2032: Technologies, Players, Markets“. The report covers technologies such as printed photodetectors and pressure sensors, gas sensors or capacitive touch sensors. All IDTechEx reports, which include a variety of information covering various aspects of printed/flexible electronic, include detailed analyses of existing and emerging technologies, potential adoption barriers, suitability for different applications, as well as an assessment of technological readiness and commercial readiness. IDTechEx reports also include multiple company profiles based on interviews with early-stage, and established companies, along with 10-year market forecasts. A full list of reports from IDTechEx can be found at www.IDTechEx.com.

About IDTechEx

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research, Subscription and Consultancy products, helping you profit from emerging technologies. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit www.IDTechEx.com.

Media Contact:
Natalie Moreton
Digital Marketing Manager
[email protected]
+44(0)1223 812300

Social Media Links:
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/IDTechEx
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/idtechex/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IDTechExResearch

SOURCE IDTechEx

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