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Posted: July 29, 2009
Solterra To Launch First of Its Kind Continuous Batch Tetrapod Quantum Dot Semi-Conductor Production
(Nanowerk News) Hague Corp.'s wholly owned subsidiary Solterra Renewable Technologies today announced that it is initiating the next phase in its plan to make high volume synthesis of tetrapod quantum dots a reality.
Up until now, tetrapod quantum dots, as well as other forms of quantum dots, have only been produced in very small, milligram quantities per day, using expensive materials and processing techniques that are laborious and time consuming.
Solterra's CEO Stephen Squires explained that as a result of the breakthrough process technology developed at Rice University (exclusively licensed by Solterra), along with the scale up efforts of the Solterra team, we are now ready to initiate the next phase in producing high quality, uniform tetrapod quantum dot semi-conductors using a continuous batch process.
Initially our target for the continuous batch process line will be production of approximately 100 grams of tetrapod quantum dots per day. For comparison, a typical single-pot synthesis method will only produce one-tenth of a gram (100 milligrams) per day.
Squires noted although gram-amount quantities may sound like lab-scale efforts, as with many nanomaterials, quantum dot dependent applications typically use the materials sparingly, while the weight-to-performance ratios produce amazing product enhancements.
A key barrier to large volume sales has been is price: quantum dots can cost anywhere from US$3,000 to $10,000 per gram, restricting their use to highly specialized applications (source: Nature Magazine June 2009 "Quantum Dots go large) whereas Solterra's Quantum Dots will be brought to market at prices varying between $800.00 to $2500.00. This very competitive price point will allow us quickly to capture significant market share.
We believe our low cost materials and efficient continuous batch process will be the key to reducing the price of high quality quantum dots and as a result, enable rapid commercialization of quantum dot dependent emerging technologies/applications, such as solar cells, flexible displays, flash memory devices and LED lighting among others.
Once our initial continuous batch line is operating at its full potential we will begin the next phase which includes using some very exciting process technologies that we believe will allow us to scale up from grams per day to kilograms per day. The increased output will support both our own quantum dot solar cell development as well as the development of other emerging quantum dot dependent technologies. According to BCC Research, the overall market for quantum dots is expected to reach US$721 Million by 2013.
According to the IDTechEx report, Printed, Organic & Flexible Electronics Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2009-2029, the market for printed and potentially printed electronics, including organics, inorganics and composites will rise from $1.92 billion in 2009 to $57.16 billion in 2019