Available Technologies: Manufacturing

Ultrafast colorimetric humidity sensors and humidity-based touchless control systems

A colorimetric thin-film coating which can be used for visible humidity indicators, ultrafast touchless control systems and highly sensitive fiber-optic humidity sensors.

BenefitsHumidity Sensors

  • Highly visible colour display
  • Very fast response
  • Chemically safe
  • No power needed
  • Low cost

Background

Humidity measurement is very important for manufacturing processes and greenhouses where excessive or insufficient moisture can affect the quality and consistency of the products. In cleanrooms and museums, humidity sensors are the key to maintaining the condition of samples and art works. In this context, the visually readable colorimetric humidity sensors that require no electronic components promise convenience and low cost.
 
Humidity touchless control is an alternative to speech, gesture and capacitive-based technologies. Compared to the conventional handtouch-based control systems, touchless control improves convenience, especially for users with impaired movement or occupied hands (e.g. driving), and hygiene-focused activities (e.g. performing surgery).
 
Compared to the conventional electronics-based humidity sensors, the fiber-optic humidity sensors hold inherent advantages of higher sensitivity, higher temperature resistance, stronger immunity to electromagnetic interference, alldielectric composition and and higher robustness.

Technology

Our humidity sensors can be manufactured by a simple and low-cost dip-coating method. The sensors spontaneously change their colour according to the local humidity change, which provides a visible readout of humidity. The sensors exhibit an ultrafast response and recovery time of ca. 35 ms and ca. 1 s, respectively. They are the fastest humidity sensors amongst those available in the market.
 
By combining two or more indicator squares with different initial colours, a simple, quick and accurate readout by eye can be made on the relative humidity.
 
These humidity sensors can be readily integrated for ultrafast humidity-accessible touchless control systems that allows a humidity signal (e.g., human breath) to control appliances and electronic devices. Highly humidity-sensitive fiber-optic sensors can also be developed.

Potential Markets 

  • Air-conditioner manufacture
  • Glass manufacture
  • Paint/coatings manufacturers
  • Motor vehicles Manufacture
  • Food packaging
  • Smart clothing
  • Smart greenhouses
  • Smart buildings
  • Touchless control interfaces
  • Smart wound dressing/bandage
  • Appliance access for disabled users

IP Status

A PCT patent application has been filed.

Partnering Opportunities

We are seeking development partners and technology licensees in the areas of air-conditioner, food packaging, glass, paint/coating, smart clothing, greenhouse, smart bandage, building access and motor vehicle manufacturing.

Commercial Lead