Turck duotec acquires a stake in Quantum Technologies UG

Quantum sensors for commercial applications

A departure into a new measuring dimension: The signing of the participation agreement between the E²MS service provider Turck duotec GmbH and Quantum Technologies® UG not only opens up new and highly accurate possibilities for detecting magnetic fields and currents; it actually marks the beginning of an era of completely new electronic sensor solutions that were previously considered unfeasible.

Turck duotec GmbH has become a strategic investor in start-up Quantum Technologies® UG from Leipzig, Germany. The necessary contracts were signed at the beginning of March 2021. The two companies are working together on the development and industrialisation of the first quantum sensor for commercial use. ‘Our goal is to develop a sensor that is about the size of a sugar cube and that can be used virtually anywhere. The extremely cost-effective design of the sensor also helps here. The application possibilities that this opens up are huge,’ says Philipp Mirliauntas, CSO of duotec. ‘We are at the beginning of a new era of measurement technology.’

Quantum sensor technology enables magnetic field measurement at the atomic level
Quantum sensor technology enables magnetic field measurement at the atomic level (© Quantum Technologies)

No cooling system required, operates at room temperature, space-saving and cost-effective – these are the key features of the quantum-based magnetometer jointly developed by duotec and Quantum Technologies. ‘The high detection sensitivity and the wide detection range of current, for example, make the quantum sensor ideal for areas of application for which there is currently no adequate solution,’ explains Arthur Rönisch, CIO of duotec. ‘The sensor is suitable for use in battery management systems in e-mobility, for example, or for current measurement in high-voltage networks. The system that we’ve developed features the optical operating principle that systemically ensures galvanic separation.’ Quantum Technologies deals with the sensitive material and magnetic field detection as well as the processing of diamonds for quantum-based sensor technology, so-called high-density NV (nitrogen-vacancy) centres and their use.

duotec is responsible for the industrialisation of the sensor for commercial use. Robert Staacke, Managing Director of Quantum Technologies, has worked as a research assistant at the University of Leipzig in the field of quantum sensor technology. He is pleased about the cooperation. In this joint undertaking, his company acts as the material and component supplier for the highly sensitive magnetic field sensor, while duotec contributes its comprehensive development expertise. ‘As a start-up involving employees of the University of Leipzig, we benefit from duotec’s many years of experience. The collaboration makes it easier for us to enter the industrial market and offer our scientifically sound and revolutionary new measurement method.’ The sensor does not require cooling as the quantum effects can be evaluated at room temperature. Nevertheless, the sensitive diamond layers can be used at the highest and lowest temperatures and under the most adverse chemical environmental conditions. The miniature design of the sensor – comparable in size to a matchbox – is another positive feature that allows the sensor to be produced at low cost. This installation space contains all the electronics for operating the sensor. The sensor does not need the kind of additional modules that are required by other solutions in this area. This technical solution is protected by a large number of intellectual property rights.

It was only as recently as the end of 2020 that duotec strengthened its manufacturing services with the purchase of shares in the EMS service provider ml&s manufacturing logistics & services from Greifswald, Germany. Now the company is expanding its expertise in the technology sector thanks to its investment in Quantum Technologies.

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