PST Sensors, an off-shoot of the University of Cape Town (UCT)’s NanoSciences Innovation Centre, have developed a printed temperature sensor system and announced a partnership with Norwegian technology company, Thinfilm, to put the Smart Sensor Labels technology that tracks the changes in temperature of perishable goods on the market by the end of 2014.
The electronic labels are thin, credit card-like devices printed on flexible plastic affixed directly to transport packaging. They hold their own battery, memory, transistor and sensor, and are capable of storing data for up to 10 years. But it is the temperature sensor that is the ‘beating heart’ of the label. Printed with ink containing silicon nanoparticles, the core is a negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistor whose resistance goes down when temperatures go up, indicating fluctuations above 15 degrees or below 45 degrees Celsius.
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