Quantum Dot Markets: Emerging Commercial Technologies


NANOSPHERESPublished: August 14, 2013 Category: Advanced Materials Emerging Electronics

 

 

NanoMarkets believes that Quantum Dots (QDs) have good potential to be a dominant large display format technology in the near term, but will take some more time to find commercial applications in the small display segment. In addition, NanoMarkets believes that in the near to mid-term, the lighting industry is likely to witness a good number of commercial launches, particularly in the solid-state lighting (SSL) segment, in which QDs have the potential to replace LED phosphor-based lighting solutions.

Downstream suppliers of QD raw materials are likely to expand their manufacturing facilities in order to meet the growing demand for QDs from consumer electronics producers, particularly TV manufacturers, as well as research facilities and some SSL-based lighting solution providers.

The QD market can be broadly classified into two segments:

Displays employing QD technology in large (TVs) and small formats (smartphones, tablets, etc.) Although QD-based TVs have begun to emerge commercially, it will take some time for the market to realize their full potential. Meanwhile, small display formats are likely to test the commercial viability of QD-based solutions in their commercial products.

Solid-state lighting solutions, where QDs have begun to find applicability in personal electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and exterior signage. However, certain pitfalls with regard to tuning the color range, producing a true white color, and high costs have limited the application of QDs in home and commercial lighting setups.

NanoMarkets expects the U.S. to be at the forefront of QD-related research activities, as evident from the presence of a wide network of QD research-based start-ups and the number of collaborative deals that some of these start-ups have struck with established raw materials suppliers and OEMs, particularly in the consumer electronic display segment.

QD TVs Emerge, While QD-Based Smartphones and Laptops Have Yet to Gain Commercial Acceptance

Large display segment: QD-based solutions have made significant inroads in large format displays such as TVs, primarily because of the versatile applicability of QDs in a wide range of display devices combined with their better color production, color purity, and power efficiency.

Large format QD-based display solutions are mostly licensed to OEMs by a few innovative start-ups, such as QD Vision, Nanosys, Nano Photonica, and Nanoco Group.

An early entrant, QD Vision, is likely to lead the market. The company has strong collaborations with several leading TV manufacturers. Two of its patented technologies hold significant potential:

• Using currently available QD technology for displays that require a backlight source, Sony has incorporated QD Vision’s proprietary Color IQ technology in its 55-inch Triluminous brand of LCD TVs.  These QDs emit pure green and pure red light and have superior color reproduction capabilities compared to those found in most commercially available TVs.

• A quantum dot light emitting diode (QLED) is a direct-emissive display technology that is likely to do away with the requirement for an underlying substrate and backlight source. The technology is currently on the verge of commercialization and is likely to find application in next-generation electronic displays because of its proven superiority to organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) in terms of reduced manufacturing costs, better power efficiency, and the ability to emit pure colors.

In addition to Sony, other notable consumer electronics players that are vying for a sizable share of the large format QD display segment include:

• Samsung, which is currently working in collaboration with Nano Photonica to incorporate the latter’s proprietary S-QLED technology, which seems to promise low cost and versatility across all display sizes, into TVs that should reach the market in late 2014 or early 2015.

• LG, which has also been working with multiple entities that have patented QD technologies, such as Nanosys and QD Vision; however, there are uncertainties regarding the timeframe for commercial launch of any QD-based products.

• Sharp, which has reportedly been working on QD technology; however, nothing concrete has been officially confirmed by the company. It is a general concern among manufacturers to alter existing processes in order to accommodate commercial production of any product based on a new technology.

The same applies to the adoption of QD technology. In order to address such manufacturing concerns, Nanosys, in collaboration with 3M’s Optical Systems Division, has developed proprietary Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF) technology that is designed to replace the traditional LCD backlighting unit. This technology therefore offers TV manufactures a readymade solution for incorporating QDs into their existing manufacturing facilities with minimal incremental cost.

Despite rumors of a significant extended product development time, 3M has indicated that it expects to commercially roll out the QDEF-based solutions for OEMs offering TVs, smartphones, and tablets by the end of 2013. Due to the adaptive nature of the technology within the existing LCD manufacturing framework, QDEF could potentially replace other competing phosphor-based technologies and OLEDs in the next generation of TVs.

Small display segment: The flexibility and high energy efficiency of ultra-thin film QDs make these nanomaterials potentially valuable for small displays. However, despite this strong potential (including that of technologies such as QDEF (patented by Nanosys)), only a few commercial QD-based products have been developed for this segment. Some of the barriers to entry to this segment, which limit the participation in this industry, include the dominance of OLED technology in the market, the longer time required for commercialization of these products, and lack of initiatives to set up large-scale manufacturing facilities.

A few notable players pursuing the small display strategy include:

• Osram, which is one of the few suppliers of QD backlighting solutions (through its MicroSideled brand) that offer minimal color loss and high power efficiency for personal electronic devices, such as tablets, ultra-books, and smartphones.

• Sony, which is one of the few electronic OEMs that currently offers its proprietary QD-based display (Triluminous) in its Xperia range of smartphones and Vaio range of laptops. The entry of established players in the small display segment will likely spur additional research efforts and increase the scope of possible commercial launches.

 

Key concerns in the display industry: QDs are likely to face stiff competition from OLEDs, a technology in which some of the leading OEMs, such as Samsung, have already invested heavily. It is expected that Samsung and other OEMs will require some time to recoup their investments before shifting to a new technology such as QDs.

Some of the key business concerns in the display industry regarding QD-based solutions are:

• The role of start-ups and their IP positions,

• The race among OEMs to secure licensing deals, and

• The verified performance improvements that QDs provide compared to OLEDs.

The QD supplier community is typically comprised of technology start-ups with IP rights that either license their products to OEMs or directly sell to research facilities. Consumer electronics OEMs are likely to generate the maximum demand for QDs in the coming years. Thus, it makes sense for QD providers holding IP positions to work in collaboration with established raw material suppliers to the electronic display industry or directly with the OEMs, which typically have large distribution networks and marketing prowess.

Clearly, companies that hold IP positions in QD materials are likely to depend heavily on OEMs and other big raw material suppliers to gain market visibility.

However, firms such as QD Vision and Nanosys will have a significant advantage over other players because of their innovative product lines, which are flexible enough to serve different display segments. Moreover, with the commercial success of QD technology, established electronic display manufacturers are likely to select such strong suppliers in order to secure their QD raw material base. OEMs will, in fact, compete with one another to strike exclusive deals with leading QD material suppliers. Although product profiles are likely to expand over time, the competitive pressure will lead to some level of consolidation, with only the financially strong players emerging as successful suppliers of QD materials to the display industry.

While compared to OLEDS, QDs offer the manufacturing advantage of fitting into the existing backlighting units of LCD TVs; QDs must also offer dramatic performance enhancements over OLEDs in order to attract investment. Long product lifetimes and cost-effective large-scale manufacturing are likely the key factors that will make QD technology successful in the display industry in the near future.

Future outlook for the display industry: In the next two-three years, QDs are likely to dominate the LCD backlighting TV segment, while it will take four-five years to witness the commercial entry of large display products based on direct-emissive (pure QD) technologies, such as the QLED technology developed by QD Vision, that can be applied across a wide range of display formats, including ultra-thin products.

Although OLEDs are to some extent comparable to QDs in terms of their versatility, smart customization moves from QD material suppliers, such as those made by Nanosys with its QDEF technology, have the potential to place QDs at the forefront of next-generation large display products that are likely to hit the market in the mid-term. Moreover, the intent of big raw material suppliers, such as Dow Electronic Materials (DEM) and 3M, to serve the display segment with QD products in a big way should be considered a positive move by other OEMs and suppliers.

Other players are likely to follow suit, given the likely commercial launch of QD-based solutions from DEM (in collaboration with Nanoco Group) in the first half of 2014 and 3M (in collaboration with Nanosys) by the end of 2013. NanoMarkets believes that the large display manufacturers, such as Sony and Samsung, will play a significant role in the commercialization of QD products, although they are likely to make smaller investments in the QD space compared to those made in OLED technology.

Even so, NanoMarkets expects that commercialization in the large display segment will progress at a faster rate than that in the small display segment, in which manufacturers are likely to carefully gauge the market potential of QDs and follow policies similar to those adopted by the established players, such as Sony and Samsung.

QD-Based Solid State Lighting on the Verge of Commercialization, but Little Impact in Other Lighting Categories Solid-state lighting (SSL) segment:

In the solid-state lighting (SSL) segment, QLEDs hold significant promise in terms of commercial success, because QLED-based lighting solutions can be applied on flexible surfaces and offer better efficiency, a wider color range, and better color saturation than other competitive products, such as LED phosphors. In addition, the high costs associated with OLED manufacturing have kept this technology out of the reach of residential and commercial consumers, a fact that can actually play in favor of QLEDs in the near future.

Energy-saving cost benefits, low toxicity, and the ability to provide true incandescent light make QD-based SSLs a strong contender for new SSL solutions and potential replacements for existing LED phosphor-based SSLs.

As in the display segment, QD Vision has a significant first-mover advantage in the SSL segment. As early as 2009, the company demonstrated its patented ‘Quantum Light’ QD–based SSL technology in collaboration with Nexxus Lighting Inc., which incorporated the technology in its commercially available ‘Array’ series of lamps. QD Vision’s ‘Quantum Light’ technology, which offers better energy savings and a longer shelf-life than conventional halogen lamps, is ideal for downlight solutions typically used in commercial and residential settings.

While QD Vision heads the pack of QD solution providers, there are others that are likely to make their presence felt in the SSL domain with proprietary QD-based solutions:

Using NN Crystal’s proprietary QShift Coral technology, Renaissance Lighting has commercially launched downlight solutions that can be precisely controlled to emit pure light of a particular color.

Pacific Light Technologies, which is solely focused on developing toxic material-free QDs for the SSL industry, is likely to attract consumer attention once it is commercially launched.

Wisys Technology Foundation, working in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, has also developed a proprietary QD-based SSL solution that is ready for market testing. These early advances should ideally incentivize other developers of QD-based SSL solutions to push their products from the research lab into consumers’ hands.

An increase in the number of QD-based offerings is critical for the success of the technology in the lighting sector, given that currently there are only a handful of organizations offering commercially available QD-based SSL products. It must be noted, however, that successful commercial launches of QD-based lighting solutions also depend heavily on the extent of the financial support received by the research organizations developing QD-based solutions.

Recognizing this fact, the U.S. government, through the Department of Energy (DOE), is providing financial grants to QD-based projects in order to move laboratory products to the commercial launch stage.

Some grant receivers include:

• The University of Buffalo, which is developing high-efficiency colloidal QD phosphors, and

• The University of California, which is developing QD phosphors for SSL applications.

Other lighting segments:

QD technology also has significant advantages over currently available LCD and OLED technologies in terms of better image performance and power efficiency in applications such as projectors, video walls, and digital signage. Trenton Systems is one firm that sees potential for QDs in such applications. The company is planning for the possible introduction of a QD-based video wall.

However, there are uncertainties with respect to the adoption rate of QD technology in these niche lighting segments, primarily due to the high product costs and the need to change existing manufacturing processes.

 

Key concerns in the lighting industry:

Although some QD material suppliers have achieved a head start in the SSL segment, there are reasons why a majority of the QD-based research activities have shied away from this segment.

The display industry has two key concerns about QD-based solutions:

• The expensive manufacturing processes for commercial products and

• The attractiveness of the business segment.

Commercial manufacturing processes for QD-based solid-state lighting solutions remain expensive and it will be some time before economies of scale can be achieved. This should prompt the development of cost-effective techniques for manufacturing general purpose lighting products.

In addition, the incremental performance benefits that QDs provide compared to conventional lighting solutions, such as CFLs and LEDs, will also be important factors deterring the rate of adoption of QDs by the lighting industry at large.

The competition for research dollars with other segments, particularly the lucrative display industry, is another major factor affecting the development of QD-based lighting solutions.

Hence, a successful foray into SSL and other residential and commercial lighting solutions will depend significantly on several key factors, including the development of cost-effective mass production capabilities and favorable government mandates for the adoption of energy efficient measures, such as the U.S. government’s emphasis on replacing 100 watt and 75 watt incandescent bulbs with 60 watt and 40 watt bulbs.

 

Future outlook for the lighting industry:

NanoMarkets believes that, in the lighting segment, SSL is likely to provide the maximum number of innovative opportunities for start-ups such as QD Vision and other QD materials producers.

It will be necessary, however, for major lighting industry OEMs to make such products commercially available. NanoMarkets is also of the opinion that some of the U.S. government-assisted QD-based SSL research projects are likely to gain commercial significance in the near to mid-term; however, other lighting segments are likely to wait and watch for radical innovations that will offer potential manufacturers a viable route to break into commercial markets.

At the same time, NanoMarkets thinks that QD materials firms should also look beyond traditional business segments and target niche lighting categories, such as projectors, video walls, and digital signage – business segments in which QD solutions can address the significant issue of high energy consumption.

QD Material Suppliers Likely to Benefit in the Mid-Term QD materials form the fundamental building blocks of any QD device.

These materials primarily consist of either heavy metal (HM)-based semiconductor materials or non-heavy metal (NHM)-based semiconductor materials. Typically, NHM-based QDs find use in biomedical applications, while HM-based QDs have been traditionally used in all other applications. However, growing concerns over the use of cadmium have led researchers to shift their focus on NHM-based QDs.

HM-based QD materials: QDs have been traditionally based on HM semiconductor materials, such as cadmium telluride, zinc sulfide, lead selenide, and zinc cadmium selenide. The supplier base remains fragmented, with OEMs having the option to choose from several patented QD materials.

The success of material suppliers is likely to be determined by their ability to mass produce QDs of consistently high quality.

Therefore, traditional suppliers, such as American Elements and M K Impex Corporation, will need to not only continue to differentiate themselves on the basis of their product variety, but also look to acquire mass production capabilities.

NanoMarkets believes that companies such as Nanoco Group and Quantum Materials Corporation, which hold IP positions related to QD materials and novel large-scale QD manufacturing techniques, are likely to have an edge over others because they will be in a position to strike bulk HM-based QD manufacturing deals with OEMs in the near to mid-term.

 NHM-based QD materials: Addressing growing environmental concerns over the use of certain heavy metals, such as cadmium and lead, has led to the emergence of NHM-based QDs. NHM-based products have begun to emerge only recently, however, and the supplier base with large-scale production capabilities is limited at this time. Some of the companies with patented mass production manufacturing techniques include:

U.K.-based Nanoco Corporation, which has modified its existing HM-based QD manufacturing techniques in order to produce NHM-based QDs with optical properties identical to the well-accepted properties of HM-based QDs. Nanoco has patented this mass production technique in order to cater to the growing demands of the electronic display industry.

• U.S.-based Quantum Materials Corporation, which by the end of 2013 will be mass producing an entire range of HM-based and NHM-based quantum dots using its patented continuous flow process. The company’s range of QD materials is likely to find applicability in various industries including display and lighting, but the firm’s focus has been on developing QD materials suited for the biomedical and solar energy segments. NanoMarkets believes that QD material providers in this highly specialized material segment are likely to ensure business viability through continuous IP-related research activities, which will enable these manufacturers to receive a steady stream of licensing revenues from OEMs in the mid-term.

However, NanoMarkets expects significant development efforts will also be directed towards the implementation of cost-effective large-scale manufacturing techniques, which will be the key to the commercialization of cost-effective and high-performance QDs.

Technology Gaps in Current-Generation QD Materials It must be noted that despite their proven potential, QDs have yet to become the material of choice for the display and lighting industries.

Although this trend can be partly explained by the fact that OEMs are hesitant to dramatically shift towards a new technology such as QDs before recouping their investments in other similar and promising technologies (OLEDs), there are also several technological barriers that QDs must overcome in order to prove their superiority over other rival technologies.

Some of the current material-related issues faced by QDs include:

• The suitability of current fabrication techniques to facilitate cost-effective mass production;

• The ease of manufacturing blue QDs; and

• Blinking issues with QDs.

Despite the emergence of several fabrication techniques for the effective manufacture of QDs, the majority of currently available fabrication techniques do not provide significant room for cost reduction in large-scale production.

Research efforts to develop new fabrication techniques or modify existing techniques are highly desired. Until a cost-effective fabrication technique is developed, QDs may not be able to make the leap to commercial success.

With respect to display solutions, the majority of current-generation QDs is likely to find initial applicability in the LED backlighting space. However, the difficulty in producing blue QDs on a consistent basis is a major cause of concern for LED and LCD TV manufacturers.

In addition, because blue QDs are likely to be smaller than red QDs, blue and green variants of blue QDs require manufacturing techniques that make them visible to the human eye. Thus, QD materials manufacturers must develop an optimal manufacturing process for blue QDs – an effort that is likely to require strong collaborations between the materials suppliers and OEMs.

Furthermore, QD manufacturers have in general been struggling to simultaneously ensure uniform size and narrow emission peaks in order to prevent the QDs from blinking on and off.

Although a potential solution to this problem has been achieved by MIT researchers, the suitability of the new technique at commercial scale has yet to be verified.

Additional advances in technology are likely to solve some of the other existing problems with QDs in the coming years, leading to increased applicability of the technology.

In the immediate future, the QD industry is likely to focus primarily on the large display market, in which QDs are expected to be extensively incorporated in the backlighting units of LCD and LED-based TVs.

Moreover, NanoMarkets believes that the development of cost-effective mass production techniques will surely attract established OEMs that would like to harness the benefits of QDs in a variety of other applications ranging from direct-emissive QD TVs and smartphones to solid-state lighting.

However, NanoMarkets also expects that the potential for QD technology to replace OLEDs (in the large display segment) and LEDs and CFLs (in the lighting segment) will largely depend on demonstration of the long-term performance enhancements offered by QDs compared to these rival technologies, particularly in terms of their reduced manufacturing cost, enhanced power efficiency and color production, longer lifetimes, and flexibility.

*** End of Report: NanoMarkets: “Key Quantum Dot Markets

Note to Readers: To read more about a recent ‘Frost and Sullivan Award Winner’ in the advanced quantum dot (“QD”) manufacturing market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Quantum Materials Corporation (“QMC”) with the 2012 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Enabling Technology.

Read the Full Release online here:

http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/press-release.pag?docid=271152906

 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Thursday, December 20, 2012 – Based on its recent analysis of the advanced quantum dot (“QD”) manufacturing market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Quantum Materials Corporation (“QMC”) with the 2012 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Enabling Technology.

QMC’s technology, employing an innovative tetrapod quantum dot continuous-flow chemistry process addresses the major challenges—low  production and corresponding high manufacturing cost—that have held back the wide-spread adoption of QD technology by major industries.

QMC’s process enables bulk manufacturing (95 percent to 97 percent full tetrapod yield) of highly efficient tetrapod-shaped QDs that have 4 arms on the QD core to enable better electrical conductivity compared to current QD technology.

The structure and size of the resulting Tetrapod QDs are highly uniform, which enables the narrow bandwidth light extraction accuracy of QMC’s quantum dots to be significantly higher than QDs manufactured through batch colloidal synthesis.

“Characteristics such as high quantum yield, smaller size and high band gap tunability make QDs an ideal platform technology for many emerging applications, such as solar energy, sensors, solid state lighting, quantum computers, and QD lasers,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Shyam Krishnan. “However, manufacturing inefficiencies of complicated, expensive synthesis processes have limited their adoption.”

(excerpt)

” …. In short, QMC’s technology has eliminated most of the industrial challenges facing large-scale adoption of QD technology. Moreover, the company’s unique synthesis eliminates conventionally used solvents, replacing them with cheaper and less toxic solvents that reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of the process.

A major advantage of QMC’s Tetrapod QD manufacturing technique is its flexibility; it can fabricate Tetrapod QDs from 12 different elements, which allows for RoHS compliance,” observed Krishnan. “The process also allows for the width and length of the Tetrapod QD’s arms to be fine-tuned for any desired application. For example, short QD arms for biotech applications, and longer QD arms to improve electron transport in solar cells.”

 *** End of ‘Frost and Sullivan Release

 

 

 

 

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Flexible displays: Beyond the hype


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8+Plastic Electronics magazine editor Dan Rogers will present at the upcoming printed and organic electronics industry event LOPE-C on the reality of flexible displays. +Plastic Electronics looks behind the hype about bendy phones

Samsung's flexible display concepts have been around for some time, but encased in glass Samsung are gearing up to produce flexible, unbreakable mobile phone screens that can be bent, twisted and even folded up and put in your wallet. The South Korean tech giant reportedly has the flexible screens in the final stage of development and will be ready to ship them next year.’ Daily Mail, December 2012

Headlines about bendable phones and flexible displays have been in plentiful supply in 2012-13, as OLED developers Samsung and LG have duelled for the leading position in next-generation consumer electronics screens.

Announcements about bullish plans to launch products based on flexible OLEDs have attracted interest not only from the plastic electronics industry, but have generated excitement in the mainstream and among consumers too.

The concept of folding or rolling up a smartphone and putting it in your pocket, or wrapping the whole thing around your wrist, may seem futuristic – or far-fetched, depending on your outlook. Yet media reports are not averse to predicting such devices being in the pockets or on the wrists of consumers as soon as later this year.

These reports seem to have lost sight of the detail. Samsung and LG are indeed planning to launch new and improved OLEDs in the near-term. And some upcoming innovations in flexible displays will indeed change the face of consumer electronics. But the changes in the coming years will be steps – albeit significant ones – on the road to fully flexible devices.

Announcements

Samsung’s plans for its ‘Youm’ flexible OLED technology, announced in 2012, were to put the technology into phones later that year.

Flexible displays are in development, such as this one from the ASU, but are not near to full commercialisationThe jump from a stated plan to implement Youm, to assuming that bendy phones would appear on shelves in 2012, was made by a number of media outlets (including UK newspaper the Daily Mail – see quote above). In the end, neither was true. In November 2012, a Samsung official exclusively informed +Plastic Electronics that the manufacturing process was not yet ready. In April 2013 the company added that issues with the encapsulation technology (essentially, the flexible alternative to a rigid glass protective cover) were causing delays.

In reality it is likely that Samsung will, at best, launch a smartphone that forgoes the need for a glass cover to protect the screen. Like Youm, the plastic OLED will offer a lightweight and robust alternative to the rigid, glass-based displays that are prone to cracking – as anyone who has dropped an expensive new smartphone or tablet will know only too well.

LG has also attracted plenty of headlines for its announced intentions to launch a phone using a flexible OLED in 2013. However what LG showed at the recent Society for Information Display event in the US was a plastic display that still needs to be encased in glass.

Future

While it may offer marginal weight savings, it is hardly the fundamental change people may be expecting.

Plastic Logic is one company producing flexible displays today, using E Paper,There are options for industries wanting to enjoy the benefits or functional, bendable and shatterproof displays today. UK start-up Plastic Logic produces flexible transistors that can drive a flexible display – at the moment using e-paper (which is compatible in terms of flexibility). E Ink has also released a flexible e-paper display, called Mobius. Flexible e-paper would be a functional choice for everything from displays in smart bank cards to digital signage.

And certainly, there are lots of promising signs regarding the development of flexible displays. The encapsulation technology needed to take OLEDs out of their rigid glass covers is progressing. Once these can be introduced to manufacturing, high-end smartphone makers will boast of the benefits of a lightweight handset and shatterproof screen.

Will the glass-free OLEDs on the horizon graduate to screens wrapped round the corners of a device? And, eventually, a phone you fold up and put in your pocket? That depends not just on technology development but also on whether consumers truly want the ‘bendable phone’ that many media sources excitedly report. Just don’t expect to get one for Christmas 2013.

Dan Rogers, managing editor of +Plastic Electronics magazine, will speak further on the topic of flexible displays at LOPE-C on 11-13 June in Munich, Germany.

New project aims to lower cost of OLED lighting


201306047919620Novaled, Cynora and Regenburg University are collaborating in a new project to explore new functional materials for low-cost production of OLED lighting applications.

Current materials and manufacturing techniques increase panel costThe cyCESH project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, with total funding of €6.1 million. The research is expected to find new soluble materials for the inexpensive production of OLEDs, and increase the efficiency of OLED devices.

The new materials will make it easier for OLEDs to be printed, leading to a cheaper, simpler and faster process for their production, compared to current vacuum processes. The cost and efficiency of OLEDs are currently the most prolific problems preventing their wide adoption in the lighting market. While OLED displays are thriving, their use in lighting is facing competition from halogen and LED technology.

However, should cost of production decrease, and lifetimes improve, OLED lighting could find a niche as a large-area lighting panel for office or design purposes. The technology has the ability to become as efficient as current energy-saving light sources.

Experts

Thomas Baumann, managing director of Cynora comments: ‘Through our collaboration with Novaled and University of Regensburg, we combine, within a team of experts, a comprehensive and specific know-how and can take it to the next step in OLED development. Our consortium strives for the overall goal of developing mass-market materials and methods for production of OLEDs.’

The collaboration sees all aspects of the supply chain covered, with material development under the stewardship of Regensburg University, the subsequent synthesis and optimisation of the materials being handled by Cynora, and the application of solution-base-processed doped transport layers by Novaled.

The project officially began on June 1 2013 and will run for three years.

Global Quantum Dots Market to Grow by 54.29% CAGR


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8TechNavio’s analysts forecast the Global Quantum Dots market to grow at a CAGR of 54.29 percent over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing number of quantum dots-based products.

The Global Quantum Dots market has also been witnessing the increasing adoption of quantum dots by life sciences and biomedical communities. However, the high cost of quantum dots could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

TechNavio’s report, the Global Quantum Dots Market 2012-2016, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the Americas, and the EMEA and APAC regions; it also covers the Global Quantum Dots market landscape and its growth prospects in the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

The key vendors dominating this market space are Life Technologies corp., eBioscience Inc., Ocean Nanotech LLC., and QD Vision Inc.

The other vendors mentioned in the report are Nanoco Technologies Ltd., Nanosys Inc., Selah Technologies Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., Evident Technologies Inc., InVisage Technologies Inc., LG Display Co. Ltd., Microvision Inc., Microoled, Nano Axis LLC, NN-labs Inc., Nexxus Lighting Inc., QD Laser Inc., Quantum Material Corp., Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC, Solexant Corp., and Voxtel Inc.

Flexible OLED/ QLED Screen Markets to Reach $72B by 2016


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8The touted arrival this year of wearable gadgets such as computer displays strapped to wrists and in wrap-around glasses is just a step towards a bigger revolution in screens — those that can be bent, folded and rolled up.

Once freed from today’s relatively heavy, breakable and fixed glass displays, tomorrow’s devices may look very different, with screens that can be rolled out, attached to uneven surfaces, or even stretched. But there’s still some way to go.

“It becomes a product designer’s paradise — once the technology is sorted out,” says Jonathan Melnick, who analyzes display technology for Lux Research.

There is no shortage of prototypes. South Korea’s Samsung Electronics this year showed off a display screen that extends from the side of a device — but obstacles remain: overcoming technical issues, figuring out how to mass produce parts cheaply, and coming up with devices compelling enough for gadget buyers.

Screen technology — with the global small display market expected to more than double to around $72 billion by 2016, according to DisplaySearch — is still dominated by liquid crystal displays (LCDs), which require a backlight and sit between two sheets of glass, making the screen a major contributor to the weight of a device, from laptops to tablets.

“Most of the weight in a tablet is the glass structure in the display and the support structure around it to prevent it from cracking,” said Kevin Morishige, a former engineer at Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and Palm.

LCD’s dominance is already under threat from lighter Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) that don’t need backlighting, are brighter, offer a wider viewing angle and better color contrast — and can be printed onto a few layers.

From Gorilla to Willow

Glass, however, is getting lighter and more flexible.

Corning, whose toughened Gorilla glass became the screen of choice for many smartphones, will provide phones with curved glass edges as soon as this year. It is also now promoting Willow Glass, which can be as thin as a sheet of paper and is flexible enough to be wrapped around a device or structure. Initially, Willow will be used as a coating for products like solar panels, but it is eventually expected to create curved products.

Corning's Willow Glass

Corning’s Willow Glass

A key selling point for Willow is more efficient production which involves so-called roll-to-roll manufacturing, like a printing press, rather than today’s more costly batch manufacturing. But the commercialization of Willow as a flexible product is some way off, James Clappin, who heads Corning’s glass technology group, told Reuters.

And glass has its limits.

“You can bend it, but you can’t keep flexing it,” said Adrian Burden, a UK consultant who has worked on several start-ups related to display technology, and holds patents in the field. This means that while glass is likely to continue to play a leading role in devices with curved displays, screens that users can bend, fold and roll will likely be plastic.

But plastic is not as robust as glass. “As soon as you introduce plastic substrates you have all kinds of issues with sensitivity to the environment,” says Burden.

Plugging the leaks 

So while OLED and plastic would seem to be companion technologies they create an extra problem when laid together: they need so-called barrier films to prevent the various layers from leaking oxygen and moisture.

“There are barrier films in all sorts of products, for example food packaging, but the challenge is that OLED is one of the most sensitive materials we follow, and so creates huge challenges,” says Lux Research’s Melnick.

Singapore-based Tera-Barrier Films, for example, has developed a way to plug leaks in the layers using nanoparticles. Director Senthil Ramadas says that after years of delays the company last month started production in Japan and aims for mass production by end-2014.

“You have several challenges in the value chain,” he said. “All these things need to be established, and only now is it coming out.”

And there’s another problem: all the materials in a bendable display need to be bendable, too — including the transparent conductors that drive current through the display. Several technologies are vying to replace the brittle and expensive Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) used in most fixed displays, including nanowires, carbon nanotubes, graphene and conductive mesh.

Some of these technologies are close to production. Another Singapore-based firm, Cima Nanotech, for example, rolls a coating of silver-based conductive ink on a sheet which then self-aligns into a web of strands a few microns across that forms the conductive layer.

It’s unlikely such shifts in the underlying technologies will yield products immediately. For one thing, “prototypes can be made,” says Melnick, “but that’s a long way from mass production as many of the processes and material in these devices face big yield and scaling issues.”

On a roll

This is gradually changing, some in the industry say, as production shifts from making parts in batches of sheets to the more efficient roll-to-roll process. “Batch is more expensive and slower than roll-to-roll, which needs new equipment and design — and takes time,” said Ramadas at Tera-Barrier.

All this requires money, and manufacturers have to be convinced to invest in the new equipment.

Even after the success of Gorilla Glass, popularized by the iPhone, Corning is having to work hard to prepare customers for Willow displays. Clappin said customers want thinner devices and easier to produce glass, but Willow requires a completely different manufacturing set-up.

“When we talk about commercializing Willow a big part of our development activity is enabling the ecosystem to handle what is essentially a brand new material,” Clappin added. “Nobody’s accustomed to working with glass that bends and moves. It’s a new material. The ecosystem needs to be trained to handle it.”

He sees demand, particularly from video gamers, for Willow-based curved screens, but remains less convinced about rollable or foldable screens. “Conformable is in the near future. As far as flexible, bendable, fold-upable goes, I see that further out and I’m not even sure that’s a viable product,” he said.

For companies with deep pockets, like Samsung, this can mean building prototypes such as those displayed at international technology shows. But that doesn’t guarantee success in selling products. Sony, for example, promoted flexible OLED displays back in 2007. “Six years later they’ve not come up with anything,” says Zhang Jie, senior scientist at Singapore’s Institute of Metals Research and Engineering. “If Samsung’s going to really drive this the application really needs to drive people and make them want it.”

This slows down the process. In late 2011, Samsung told analysts it planned to introduce flexible displays into handsets “some time in 2012, hopefully the earlier part than later,”but a year later the company said the technology was still “under development.” In an investment note last month Jefferies said that while Samsung may introduce “unbreakable” screens this year, it didn’t expect to see flexible displays in Samsung devices until 2014-15.

Ultimately, teasing out the technical problems may be only half the battle.

“This is the eternal question of the speciality materials industry,” says Lutz Grubel, Japan-based head of marketing for German glass maker Schott’s Xensation Cover 3-D glass. “You have something, a material, and you’re looking for an application. That’s the game.”

For More Information On OLED/ QLED Markets go to this Wintergreen Research Report:

https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/quantum-dot-and-quantum-dot-display-qled-market-shares-strategies-and-forecasts-worldwide-nanotechnology-2013-to-2019/

The Rise of the Nanoco (NANO) and the efficiency game – Quantum Dots in Solar, LED’s and LCD TV’s


Original article By Charlie Hayter PUBLISHED: 23 Jan 2013 @ 14:41

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Note to Readers: “Nanoco” has been making some significant headlines recently. As noted in this article, there are some very good reasons for that, most recently, the announcement of the JV Alliance with DOW Chemical (Electronics). It is noted that there are still some significant risks in both the cost and scale-up inputs yet to come, as Nanoco (and others) move forward to scalable commercialization. Another significant risk is the mass production of heavy-metal free (cadmium) QD’s.   There seems to be an assumption as to a “cost” per gram that will still remain high and a process of manufacture that will “limit” the amount of nano-materials available to be incorporated into existing product development and commercialization.

We wonder however, like the comments of “Ken G.” at the end of this article, if indeed there are not “others” out there developing H.M free, low cost and mass producible Quantum Dots that will dramatically change the risk/ reward investment equation. Cheers!   BWH

Quantum Dots were discovered in 1980 by Alexei Ekimov, and have been playing an ever more important role in tech advances for televisions and solar cells, as well as a host of applications further away from commercialisation. The unique properties of quantum dots allow the photonic emissions to be tuned by the size of the dot and this has meaningful benefits to solar cell efficiency and LCD power consumption, as well as bringing the colour array of LCD/LED into the OLED league potentially at a much lower cost. There are a number of Companies involved in this space, Nanosolar (privately held) – focuses on Quantum Dot CIS Solar Cells, Nanosys & QD Vision (privately held) concentrating on TV displays and LEDs, and Nanoco (LSE:NANO) concentrating on solar with Tokyo Electron and TV displays with other unnamed Asian partners, which announced today its licensing agreement for distributing cadmium free quantum dots for the display market with DOW Chemical.

For Nanoco, this follows on from stake building by Henderson pre-Christmas, an initiation of coverage by Liberum with a TP of 160p on the 16th of Jan and upgrade today to 260p, an upgrade today by Canaccord to 265p and finally the first commercial display exhibited by Sony in conjunction with QD Vision at the start of this year.

Announcement and Take

Nanoco announced today a global licensing agreement whereby DOW Electronic Materials will have exclusive worldwide right to market and manufacture Nanoco’s Quantum dots for use in electronic displays, with Nanoco receiving an undisclosed royalty payment. DOW Electronic Material will build a facility in Asia. The capacity has not been disclosed.

It looks like the Runcorn facility will be put on hold and it is not clear whether electronic displays include Diodes alongside the LCD/LED segment.

Quantum Dots – A bit of science

Quantum dots are small crystals that emit light of varying colours depending on the size of the crystal. Generally the smaller the crystal, the harder it is to produce, and the higher the frequency it emits. So a small crystal will emit blue light and a larger one red light.

Applications 1 – Solar

The major technological battle in solar has been between the flexible, low weight and efficiency thin Film vs the cumbersome, higher efficiency Crystalline silicon. In 2008 Thin Film was all the rage with sky high Polysilicon prices and bets were on Thin Film gradually taking market share. Firstsolar had a cost per Watt that was 50% below polysilicon competitors and an efficiency of c.10%, compared to crystalline silicon technologies at roughly 15%. Now, the cost per Watt for Firstsolar sits at around $0.67 and the average efficiency of its modules at around 12.7% compared to crystalline silicon technology at approximately $0.75 and an efficiency of 16-17%.

The relative catch up of crystalline silicon in terms of cost has been mainly due to the falling polysilicon price coupled with the increasing economies of scale. Breakthroughs, in terms of efficiency, have been made with anti-reflective layers (stopping light bouncing of the cell surface – analogous to a cats-eye), selective doping, and thinner printing of the silver conductors on the cell surface or burying them altogether.  However the theoretical limit to single junction solar cells/modules is constrained by the Schockley-Quiesser limit to 33%.

The Schockley-Queisser limit comes about due to the solar spectrum, i.e. the light emitted from the sun and the bandgap of the material being used to convert it to electricity. With our sun, the optimum bandgap is about 1.4eV, and silicon is chosen due to its close approximation to that, 1.1eV, also taking into account its properties as a conductor. The theoretical limit with single junction crystalline silicon is about 29% as the bandgap doesn’t match the optimum point due to the trade off for better conductivity and less electron hole recombination. Simply put, in standard solar cells, a high energy photon comes in 2eV and kicks off an electron, leaving the other 0.9eV as heat and so limiting the efficiency.

There are a few methods to counteract this, such as multi-junction cells. They (mostly GaAs) provide band gaps across at multiple points across the spectrum to maximise the theoretical efficiency. Essentially they vertically stack different materials with different bandgaps to capture more of the light. An infinitely layered multi-junction cell has a theoretical limit of 86%. At the moment these cells are only used in satellites because of their high cost due to the complex process of depositing multiple layers.

There is another way of breaching the single junction limit of 33% by using Quantum Dots, as they can emit multiple electrons from a single photon. As such the theoretical efficiency can be increased to 42% for single junction solar modules. Nanosolar, a Californian based Google funded venture, has reached a laboratory efficiency of 17.1% with its CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Di-Selenide) product, but bear in mind laboratory efficiencies take 5 plus years to translate 50% of their advances into commercial production.

Application 2: TV’s

The turmoil that has been the history of televisions is a story of ever more violent upheavals and rapid technological shifts. Cathode rays have been made obsolete by plasma’s and LCD’s, and now flexible OLED’s have set the challenge to hybrid LED/LCD’s.

LCD’s provided lower costs, thinner screens and better colours compared to CRT’s, and OLED’S did the same to LCD’s whilst eliminating the backlight . Finally hybrid LCD/LED TV’s, either backlit or side-lit with their respective advantages, incorporated the low energy consumption by using LED’s whilst maintaining the filtering element of the LCD crystal displays. The threat of OLED’s and its better colour rendering has reared its head, and is being sold as a premium due to its cost but isn’t gaining market share.

The race has all been about slimmer, sexier and more extras – like a combination catwalk and page 3 model. LCD’s and their hybrid LED/LCD’s have an estimated 70% market share in 2012 from less than 5% in 2005. OLEDS have started to make an appearance but are priced at a significant premium – for example the 55inch Samsung OLED sells for just over £6000 compared to LCD’s and their variants at £1000-1500. Even though there is a distinctive price premium, OLED’s are easily degraded by water and continued use – specifically with the blue colour OLED (losing 50% of effectiveness over five years at eight hrs usage per day). Quantum Dots also have their problems, although not insurmountable, by being oxidised readily in air.

The plan for OLED’S is to follow the cost curve lower, but yet again the disruptive element of quantum dots could change the game. The concept was displayed earlier this month by Sony, where a gallium nitride blue LED light passes through a layer of Quantum dots and then out via the LCD display. The advantages over the traditional side-lit or backlit white LED being a colour scale comparable with OLED’s, power savings and potential cost savings – so an OLED quality TV that doesn’t break the bank. Another advantage of the quantum dot model is that old LCD fabs can be modified to include it instead of a dramatic overhaul with specialised deposition equipment as in the case of OLED’s. Clearly this is where DOW is positioning itself.

Application 3: LED’s

LED’s are gaining market share across the world in the traditional lighting segment as well as being an integral part of the LCD/LED hybrid display. At present white colour light is made in two ways, either through phosphorous doped blue LED’s that stretch out light spectrum to give the appearance of white light, or by combining Red, Green and Blue diodes. The problem with the RGB combination is that it costs a lot – 3 diodes instead of one that is modified, whilst phosphor doping leaves a large spike in the blue end of the visible spectrum and gives an unnatural hue to end viewing.

You’ve guessed it, Quantum dots can be married with the blue gallium nitride diodes, to give off truer colour. Nanosys simply has a Quantum dot lens that covers the blue light and gives off more natural light.

With TV’s however, the plan is to incorporate the Quantum Dots as a film across the back of the TV. Most broker notes haven’t highlighted this, but surely it would be better to just have Quantum Dot enhanced LED’s in the background. This could have effects on sales/volumes estimated so far.

Nanoco

The Company is Manchester based spin-off of its home city’s university, alongside Imperial College. The Market cap is nearing £300m with 2011 revenues of £2.6m, so is this premium justified or is the Company too hot to touch right now – are we back in the days of Fuel Cell Companies, such as ITM in 2006-7.

Financials

The problem is placing an estimate on revenues. At present the Company sells most of its product as milestone payments for about £2m per Kg. Most brokers are estimating prices in the region of £200k-50k per Kg declining through to 2017, with a volume ramp increased from 100-250kg in 2014 through to 12,000kg – or FY ‘17 revenues of £150m after taking into account an estimated 25% royalty payment. As for earnings, a pie in the sky guess of 30%, meaning a forward ’17 multiple of 6.7.

So what does this mean for market share of display televisions. According to the Company an estimate of 0.7g of quantum dots per 60 inch TV can be used – so a 40% market penetration in 2018 would require 12,000kg – which is what Dow Chemicals two largest clients, LG and Samsung, roughly hold in the high end TV market. Definitely plausible, but a lot of assumptions on price, royalty and production.

Let’s look at it another way – with yet another load of estimates. What about the replacement costs for what’s out there already. Estimating the LED cost for a 40inch TV (about 750 LEDs) and using low range costs off various websites, the total white SMD (surface mounted design) LED costs would be roughly $23. With blue LEDs the cost would be $8 and the quantum dots $28 – assuming £50,000 per Kg and not including assembly. So a bit of an extra cost but nothing compared to the CAPEX required for OLED’s and yet the same visual result– and it’s not clear whether this 0.7g estimate is for entire films of QD’s or for coated or “lensed” diode’s. Just consider this a thought experiment before getting lambasted on the bulletin boards.

Nanoco’s USP for mitigating risks

There are three major linked risks to Nanoco: Competition, scaling production and the Cadmium free saga.

Nanoco has produced Cadmium free Quantum Dots by complying with the ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Materials Directive, which have given it a head start with regards to competitors QD Vision and Nanosys who don’t. Samsung have abandoned their Cadmium quantum dot campaign for this reason.

The issue with scaling a nascent product could also restrict market take up. Nanoco says it’s molecular seeding process is more appropriate than its competitors dual injection, as temperature control is more easily maintained – but you have to take their word for that, and DOW has. So it looks like Nanoco has won the first round.

Industry News and potential M&A

The solar space has picked up yet again with a whole new wave of MA. Q-cells and its Hanergy Hanwha sale, Hanergy and Miasole and its stake in Apollo solar, and finally Oerlikon buyout by Tokyo Electron, who have the agreement for a solar ink with Nanoco. But Nanoco’s ink has only reached efficiencies of 8% in respect to Nanosolar’s NREL approved 17%. So with solar it’s probably long way off, leaving the lighting and the screen display market as the most immediately cash generative.

You have to ask the question will it be taken out? Private equity has both of its major competitors. Diode companies, such as Cree, Epistar and Osram, have a lot to lose by not being a first mover in this market, but they’re electronics Companies not Chemical Companies. Furthermore, Dow has already taken the bait saying “we want this product” proving its tastiness to the majors – and could make more moves for further distributorship rights, i.e. to LED makers if the present agreement doesn’t include it.

Conclusion

A risky nascent tech that has clearly huge market potential: Richly priced but for these reasons. But strategically it is a sitting duck for Chemical Companies, and, most likely for Dow to consolidate, although this could be heavily premature. However, the news of DOWS involvement is a strong catalyst for earlier revenue generation as well as being a confirmation of the technologies scalability and potential, although the lack of clarity on the specifics of the deal are somewhat irksome. Bear in mind the potential for scale up delays on the downside and lack of revenue visibility, and on the upside, announcements for the LED market primarily as well as the solar space. Looks like a buy, hold and buy on dips if or as enthusiasm wanes – but this is a highly speculative stock with uncertainties galore, so something for the growth section of your portfolio that you can afford to lose – maybe prudent to wait for a pull back before entry, but then you might miss out.

Ken G says:

I believe one company you left off your list has the solutions to many of the issues regaurding mass productionn and scale of economy.They are a publically listed company QTMM and were recently covered by Frost and Sullivan recieving the “2012 North American Enabling Technology Award for Advanced Quantum Dot Manufacturing”.

Quantum Materials Corp First-Tetrapods Synthesis with over 92%> Full Shape First-Tetrapods with over 92% Uniformity of Size First-Tetrapods w/precise control of arm width & length First-Tetrapods Eco-Friendly Green Synthesis First-Tetrapods Continuous Flow Chemistry Process First-Tetrapods Mass Production by Continuous Flow Wide Variety of Group II-VI Tetrapods; Cd or Cd-Free Dec. 2012: New Tetrapod with 80%> Quantum Yield Best Tetrapod for Commercializing New Applications Best Company for Nanotech Joint Venture Partnering Proprietary QD Printed Electronics Technologies Precision printed lithography, gravure, inkjet printing Roll to Roll QD Printing at high speed on flexible substrates

QMC is the parent company for Solterra Renewable Technologies who are developing 3rd generation solar using quantum dots..

Solterra Renewable Technologies Solterra Renewable Technologies developing Non-REE Flexible Thin-Film Photovoltaic Tetrapod Quantum Dot Solar Plants. Our objective is to become the first bulk manufacture of high quality tetrapod quantum dots and the first solar cell manufacturer to be able to offer a solar electricity solution that competes on a non-subsidized basis with the price of retail electricity in key markets in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

 

 

QMC receives U.S. patent for synthesis of Group II-VI inorganic tetrapod quantum dots


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8

*** Note to Readers: In our efforts to provide timely updates in the world of “Nano”, we post the following announcement. We have previously posted about this company and find the premise of the technology to be very promising IOHO. We appreciate your thoughts, comments and responses as to how you think this technology will impact the industry, specifically in Nano-Bio, Nano-Pharma and Nano-Medicine.  Cheers!  BWH

Published on November 21, 2012 at 12:11 AM

quantum material corp logoQuantum Materials Corporation, Inc. (OTCQB: QTMM) proudly announces the USPTO patent grant 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” and invented by Professor Michael S. Wong’s group at William Marsh Rice University, Houston, TX, for the first time gives precise control of both QD shape and dimension during synthesis and is adaptable to quantum dots production of industrial scale quantities. 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.

Quantum Materials Corporation, Inc.(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 Quantum Dot Solar Applications.  QMC last week announced a high quantum yield of 80% for a new class of tetrapod QD synthesized with this patented process.

According to a new market research report, “Quantum Dots (QD) Market – Global Forecast & Analysis (2012 – 2022)” published by MarketsandMarkets (http://www.marketsandmarkets.com), the total market for Quantum dots is expected to reach $7.48 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 55.2% from 2012 to 2022.

The Rice University QD synthesis remarkably produces 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 optimize 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.

Quantum Materials Corporation’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 QD offer inherent advantages over spherical QD including higher brightness, truer and more colors, 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.

It simply has not been economically feasible to commercialize 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 Quantum Materials Corporation and Solterra Renewable Technologies.

Stephen B. Squires, CEO and President of Quantum Materials Corporation, Inc. and Solterra Renewable Technologies, Inc., said, “With the granting of the US Patent, tetrapod quantum dots are well positioned to revolutionize 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 centers and strategic partnerships for creating dramatic value in our companies.”  Squires continued, “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 added, “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).”QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8

Samsung displays devices with screens that bend and fold


Galaxy SkinSamsung Galaxy Skin was displayed with a flexible screen

Samsung is pushing the envelope in new areas of smartphone design, as it displayed devices with screens that bend. Samsung Galaxy Skin is reported to feature a flexible AMOLED, which uses a plastic polymer instead of glass. The new range of Samsung’s flexible phones will come in handy for clumsy hands as the device is reported to survive falls and blows.

The devices with flexible screens from Samsung are reported to be in the last phase of development and are rumoured to be released in the first half of next year. The flexibility of the screen is a result of the use of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), which are thin and can be applied on flexible material, like plastic or metal foil.

Samsung is not the only company which has tried to create something unique like the flexible screens as companies like Japan’s Sony and South Korea’s LG Display have launched prototypes of the flexible screens. Samsung had previously promised flexible displays this year, but the date has passed with no confirmation from the South Korean manufacturer.

 

The prototypes of the flexible devices were displayed at the 2012 Plastics show in Birmingham this week. With the flexible devices, Samsung might be looking to create a unique pedestal for the South Korean company and the bendy devices might prove to be the factor, which pushes Samsung ahead.

Lee Chang-hoon, Vice President of Samsung’s display division, told the Journal that the South Korean company has sent out samples of the new displays to a few select customers.

Related:
Samsung Galaxy S4 rumours predict launch in January 2013
Galaxy S3 ousts iPhone 4S, becomes world’s best-selling smartphone in Q3 2012
Samsung Galaxy S3 64GB variant now available for pre-order in UK at £600

Galaxy Skin

OLED vs LED lighting


Posted: Oct 30th, 2012

Note to Readers: One of the emerging nanotechnology advanced materials companies we regularly follow, Quantum Materials Corporation, will be presenting at this conference. See the list of presenters & topics at the end of this article. Cheers! – BWH –

(Nanowerk News) The latest devolopments in the OLED lighting space will be one of the major topics at the forthcoming Printed Electronics USA 2012 conference & exhibition. The event, being held on December 5-6 in the heart of silicon valley at Santa Clara, CA, USA, focuses on the commercialization of the technology, covering broadly organic, inorganic, thin film and flexible nanotechnologies.
 

LED Market
It has taken twenty years for LED lightingto reach 8% of the $80 billion global lighting market, appearing in everything from car headlights to home lighting to street lighting. However, compared to the previous years, the foremost rapid growth has slowed down and every possible niche market is fairly populated.
What is the impact on OLED lighting? Will those in OLED lighting achieve efficiencies, yields and lifetimes fast enough before LED becomes ingrained? Printing is already being applied to LED lighting for connectors and even printing LEDsthemselves. Others are mounting LEDs on flexible substrates. But will the thermal problems restrict the applicability of LED lighting on flexible substrates, paving the way for OLED lighting there? Who is investing in OLED lighting manufacturing?
OLED Market
Just as it is the case with the LED market the majority of the OLED market is still driven by displays. Compared to that, the OLED lighting market is very much in its infancy, with rather expensive OLED luminares and lamps commercially available as samples or used in design installation, but no mass production is in place, yet. Nevertheless, OLED lighting attracted a lot of interest and investment in the last couple of years and virtually all lighting companies are involved in OLED research and development. If OLED lighting is to suceed in penetrating only a small portion of the global lighting market, revenues could be in the millions. In fact, IDTechEx forecasts a $200-300M annual opportunity for OLED lighting in the next 2-3 years.
What comes next?
The next big topic for OLED lighting R&D is the development of flexible panels resulting in first products by 2015. This is driven by and will benefit from the flexibility trend for OLED displays, which will drive the development of better and cheaper flexible barriers, a key bottleneck for the technology, in the next couple of years.
Key Challenges
Other key challenges ahead are investment for larger area device manufacturing to lower the panel cost, reduction of material costs (esp. for glass, edge barriers etc), improved yield, the availability of low cost, and differentiated product design and marketing from LED lighting.
 

Printed Electronics USA 2012

At the forthcoming Printed Electronics USA 2012 event the topic will be discussed in great detail by the following presenters: 
Dr Srinivas Sista, Materials Scientist at GE Global Research will talk about OLEDsfor Lighting Applications, with focus on improving the performance (Efficiency, Lifetime and Cost) of solution processed OLEDs through device design. GE Global Research is one of the world’s most diversified industrial research labs, providing innovative technology for all of GE‘s businesses. GE Research has been the cornerstone of GE technology for more than 100 years, developing breakthrough innovations in areas such as medical imaging, energy generation technology, jet engines and lighting. 
The applicability of Printed Electronics Technologies to OLED lighting will be discussed by Mr Takeo Arai of Konica Minolta, Japan; this includes Konica Minolta’s activity in OLED lighting, their world’s first all-phosphorescent OLED product, a technical approach to R2R process for OLED lighting, and high-barrier films for printed electronics or flexible OLED. Konica Minolta, a leading company in EP (Electrophotographic Printing) sector, now has industrial inkjet technology as well. 
A market forecast for the OLED lighting sector compared to state-of-the-art LED lighting will be given by Dr Norman Bardsley, Consultant on Displays and Organic Electronicsat Bardsley Consulting. He will compare large area OLED lighting agains large areas diffuse lighting as well as capital, material and performance of LED vs vacuum processed OLED lighting vs solution processed OLED lighting, and conclude with a LED and OLED lighting forecasts 2013-2023. 
Mr Mike Lu, Director OLED Technology at Acuity Brands Lighting, will give an overview of OPLED Luminaire products and application designs.

Mr Stephen Squires, CEO,Quantum Materials Corporation, United States. Presentation Summary
A software controlled flow chemistry process for mass synthesis of high quantum yield inorganic Group II-VI Tetrapod Quantum Dots (TQD) is being developed that will scale to produce Kilogram quantities per day. These TQD are notable for their 90+% conversion for full tetrapod shape, equally high uniformity and selectivity of arm length and width (vital for electron transport). Tetrapod Quantum Dots are recognized as having superior characteristics among quantum dot shapes.
In addition, QMC has the exclusive worldwide license to quantum dot printing technologies developed by our CSO, Dr. Ghassan Jabbour, that have wide applications in R2R printed electronics and thin-film solar cell production.
We will discuss how the timeline for Quantum Dot applications is moving from the future to the present.

 

Related topics discussed at Printed Electronics USA 2012 are Flexible & Bistable Displays, New Progess with Barrier Film, The Future of Transparent Conductors and more. For further information and registration see http://www.PrintedElectronicsUSA.com
Source: By Cathleen Thiele, IDTechEx

 

NanoMarkets Announces Release of New Report on Advanced Glazing Systems Markets


Glen Allen, VA:  Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets announces a new report on energy-efficient building materials: “Advanced Glazing Systems Markets-2012.”  According to NanoMarkets, the advanced glazing systems market already generates around $550 million (USD) in revenues annually and this number is expected to double by 2015.  The entire advanced glazing systems market could be worth as much as $5.8 billion by 2017.  Details of the report are available at:

http://nanomarkets.net/market_reports/report/advanced_glazing_systems_markets_2012

Advanced glazing systems in this report include: (1) IGUs designed to achieve ultra-low U values; (2) both passive and active dynamic glazing; and (3) windows that integrate photovoltaics and OLED lighting. This study also contains granular eight-year forecasts in both value ($ million) and area terms.  Breakouts are provided by product type, materials used, and the geographies in which glazing systems are sold.

Key players discussed include: 3M, Asahi Glass, Aspen Aerogels, Bayer, Beijing All Brilliant, Chiefway, Chromogenics, Citala, Dai Nippon Ink, DuPont, Eastman Chemical, Garware Plastics, Graham Architectural Products, Guardian, GlasNovations,  GlassX, Hitachi Chemicals, Johnson Laminations,  Kawneer/Traco,  Madico, NSG, Pleotint, Polytron Technologies, PPG, RavenBrick, RFI, Saint-Gobain, Sage Electrochromics, Schott Glass, Smart Glass International Southwall Technologies, Soladigm, Switch Materials and US e-Chromic.

From the Report:

This market is being driven by energy cost reduction and improved efficiencies.  Also, mandates for zero-energy buildings cannot be easily achieved without improved glazing technologies.  NanoMarkets reports that the much needed improvements for glazing systems will come from both additional functionality and new materials.

Adding functionality to glazing systems will continue generating new business revenues.  Dynamic glazing is already replacing older window films and currently accounts for more than $0.5 billion in annual sales.  Integration of advanced glazing systems with lighting management systems is a near-term opportunity and NanoMarkets also believes that within a few years that window-integrated photovoltaics — and perhaps lighting — will become part of the mix.

On the new materials front, NanoMarkets sees an immediate need for both improved materials and designs for framing advanced glazing.  Efforts to provide such materials are primarily aimed at future R10 Windows, which have special needs for both strength and thermal transmission, but will ultimately have broader applicability.  Some of the common framing materials used today are not suitable for future advanced glazing systems.  For example, aluminum frames are strong and attractive, but not good insulators.  Today’s widely used uPVC frames are highly energy intensive in their manufacture, use toxic materials, and are hard to recycle.

NanoMarkets believes that opportunities for novel framing materials include various composites, fiber glass and vinyl frames reinforced with steel bars. New kinds of thermal breaks are another area with potential. Such new framing materials are expected to generate more than $320 million by 2015 and $815 million by 2017.

In addition, the NanoMarkets report claims that there will be a rapid deployment of new insulation materials for inside IGUs.  Already, there is a growing opportunity to make krypton and xenon gas more widely available and at lower prices as viable alternatives to argon. Some firms are also proposing entirely new approaches to insulation including the use of aerogels and phase-change materials.

About NanoMarkets:

NanoMarkets tracks and analyzes market opportunities in displays, electronics, solid-state lighting, energy, and other markets enabled by advanced materials. The firm is a recognized leader in industry analysis and forecasts of this kind and has been covering the advanced materials sector for nearly a decade.

Visit http://www.nanomarkets.net for a full listing of NanoMarkets’ reports and services.

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