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U.S. grants QMC tetrapod quantum dot synthesis patent

The patent, regarding a green method of manufacturing II-VI quantum dots, will provide precise control of both QD shape and dimension during synthesis
Quantum Materials Corporation, Inc. (QMC) has been granted the USPTO patent of a fundamental disruptive technology for synthesis of Group II-VI inorganic tetrapod quantum dots.

The patent, "Synthesis of Uniform Nanoparticle Shapes with High Selectivity," invented by Michael S. Wong's group at William Marsh Rice University, Houston, Texas, gives precise control of both QD shape and dimension during synthesis and is adaptable to quantum dots production of industrial scale quantities.

QMC II-VI tetrapod quantum dot

The new synthesis is a greener method using surfactants as would be found in laundry detergent instead of highly toxic chemicals used during industry standard small batch synthesis.

QMC has acquired the exclusive worldwide license for this patent and its wholly owned renewable energy subsidiary, Solterra Renewable Technologies, has the same rights specific to QD Solar Applications.

QMC recently announced a high quantum yield of 80 percent for a new class of tetrapod QD synthesised with this patented process.

According to a new market research report, "Quantum Dots (QD) Market – Global Forecast & Analysis (2012 – 2022)" published by MarketsandMarkets, the total market for Quantum dots is expected to reach $7.48 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 55.2 percent from 2012 to 2022.

The Rice University QD synthesis produces the same-sized tetrapods, in which more than 92+ percent are full tetrapods, with a similar high degree of process control over QD shape, size, uniformity, and selectivity. The synthesis is applicable to a wide range of mono and hybrid Group II-VI tetrapod QD with/without shell and can optimise specific characteristics by modifying process parameters.  

Across the broader QD industry however, other companies have been striving to increase production, but none have predicted scaling quantum dot production remotely close to multiple kilograms per day. 

QMC's development of breakthrough software-controlled continuous flow chemistry process allows scaling of tetrapod quantum dot production to 100kg/day. Increasing production will transform tetrapod quantum dots from a novelty to a commodity, available across industries and applications where prior limited availability and high prices restricted product development.

For example, 100kg daily QD production can support a QD Solar Cell Plant producing one Gigawatt/year of R2R flexible QD solar cells at an industry competitive .75 cents/Watt at the start.

Tetrapod QDs are claimed to offer inherent advantages over spherical QDs including higher brightness, and more colours, the use of less active material (QDs) for any application, higher photostability and therefore longer lifetime; which together more than justify their product development.

OLEDs, for example, share design architecture similarities and would not require entirely new research to adapt to TQD-LEDs. Spherical quantum dots, at the low price of $2000/gm. are 30 times more expensive than gold today.

Until now, it has not been economically feasible to commercialise QD applications due to their high cost, which stems from the difficulty of small batch manufacture, the inability to produce uniform, same size QD from batch to batch, and to promise a reliable, timely supply.

Over the last half dozen years university and corporate quantum dot research has increased dramatically and there are ready QD applications that may now be "business planned" for joint ventures or possible licensing with QMC and Solterra Renewable Technologies.

Stephen B. Squires, CEO and President of Quantum Materials Corporation, Inc. and Solterra Renewable Technologies, Inc., says, "With the granting of the US Patent, tetrapod quantum dots are well positioned to revolutionise several industries in offering dramatic performance at cost effective levels."

"While the technology has been under review, we have continued to execute our vision to establish global manufacturing centres and strategic partnerships for creating dramatic value in our companies." 

Squires continues, "We are excited to continue our business plan with the IP protection offered by the granted allowances. Adoption of quantum dots will result in new classes of products with advanced features, improved performance, energy efficiency, and lower cost."

Art Lamstein, Director of Marketing for QMC and SRT adds, "The timeline is moved forward to present day and market forecasts will need be rewritten for quantum dot based renewable energy, photovoltaics, biotech diagnostic assays, drug delivery platforms, theranostic cancer and other biomedicine treatments, QD-LED and opto-electronic devices, photonics, low power SSL lighting, batteries, fuel cells, thermo-QD applications, quantum computing, memory, and conductive inks (to name a few)."

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