quantum tunneling composite

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quantum tunneling composite

Postby brötchen » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:56 pm UTC


Recently I've read that there was a research group trying to implement a material called quantum tunneling composite, qtc for short, in to an pressure sensitive touchscreen. after some research i found that materials operating on the same principals have already been demonstrated to work as a sort of dimmer switch for electronics that use quite a substantial amount of power (there was a video where they demonstrated a dremel tool modified to use this technology). Now i was wondering weather it is more efficient to use this kind of materiel instead of a potentiometer or other variable resistor. as far as i understand qtc material is essentially an insulating polymer that has small metal particles embedded into it, the distance between which is varied by the amount of force applied. the way power loss usually occurs in resistor, as far as i understand, is that the atoms of the conductor are excited by their moving valence electrons and therefore radiate heat but that's not what appears to be happening in qtc's since the metal particles never actually touch and electric conductivity by means of moving valence electrons should be impossible. therefore electrons will only be transported by means of quantum tunneling(hence the name). now does all that mean that a piece of qtc letting through the same amount of power and current dissipates less heat than a resistor? is that even possible at all?

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Re: quantum tunneling composite

Postby idobox » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:48 pm UTC

I don't really know the devices you describe, but quantum tunelling happens through the insulation layer of transistors and is significant for high density circuits. It generates as much heat as a resistor would.

But even if your devices generate a lot of heat, they can have other advantages, like a better thermal conductivity, a larger volume (lower power density), or be less sensitive to temperature change.
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