Able to transform from an insulator
to a conductor
when deformed, quantum-tunneling composite
(QTC) can act as a pressure, bend, stretch, or touch sensor
depending on how it is deployed. By providing an extremely rugged and cost-effective alternative to existing materials, QTC devices can replace more expensive alternatives in sensing and switching applications.
Standard conductive composites are made from polymers filled with carbon particles, which contact one another under pressure to provide a conduction path. In QTC devices, nanoengineered metal particles never come into contact under pressure, but come close enough to enable quantum tunneling between them.
QTC pills, cables, pads, fabric sensors, and switches are available with a resistance range from as high as 10E12 ohms to as low as 0.5 ohm.
Among the uses of the material are robotic grip sensors, switches for smart clothing (QTC can be machine-washed), and door-crush edge protection to prevent hands and such from getting caught in automatic doors. (coming to a car near you.)