Organic Quantum Dots from StoreDot
In past articles we have highlighted a number of companies looking to find commercial applications that utilize the superior properties of quantum dots. One such company, publicly traded Nanoco, is looking to mass produce quantum dots for use in displays. Another company we highlighted is Nanosys which produces cadium based quantum dots for use in energy storage and displays. Similar to Nanosys, a start-up company called StoreDot is developing organic quantum dots which are also looking to target these same two applications.
Founded in 2011, Israeli based start-up StoreDot received $6 million in funding of August last year from several strategic and private investors to develop quantum dots which are organic and metal free. These quantum dots are called “nanodots” by the company, and they claim these are some of the smallest quantum dots available at just two nanometers in size. StoreDot has a unique proprietary process which manipulates the chemistry of peptides so that they self-assemble into quantum dots. These biological semiconductors are capable of storing an electrical charge or emitting visible light. These two particular properties are what the company is looking to commercialize.
StoreDot is not targeting the typical application of creating a battery that has increased storage capacity but rather they are looking to create batteries that charge in an incredibly short amount of time. The Company received a great deal of media attention recently when they debuted at Microsoft’s Think Next conference in Tel Aviv, an adapted Samsung S3 battery that could be full charged in 30 seconds:
As seen in this video, this adapted “battery” is quite large and far from being at the size of a typical Samsung S3 battery, however the company states that they expect to achieve sizes that are that small. According to the Wall Street Journal, the estimated cost will be twice that of an average phone charger, which is up to $30. StoreDot plans to begin commercial production in late 2016.
Quantum Dots in Display
According to an article by OLED-Info.com, a large Asian display maker participated in StoreDot’s last round of funding with the intent to change their focus to displays. While companies like QD Vision make film that is used by Sony to enhance the color gamut of LCD televisions such as the Sony 55 inch Triluminos Set, StoreDot hopes to replace the organic emitter in an OLED display with Nanodots. The advantages to using Nanodots is that they are easy to process, they are quite stable being albe to sustain tens of thousand of hours of lifetime, and they do not oxidize which is one of the biggest challenges facing flexible OLED displays. StoreDot hopes to produce a simple BiO-LED flexible display prototype by the end of 2014 with hopes to reach commercialization by around 2017. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, using Nanodots in the same manufacturing process as OLEDs brings about a cost saving of about 10 times compared to other displays.
StoreDot does not appear to be the only company that is manufacturing organic quantum dots. Life Technologies currently sells organic quantum dots for $517 per 4ML which they say are ideal for various labeling and tracking applications. With backing from a large Asian display maker, it seems that StoreDot’s application of their quantum dot technology stands to differentiate their technology from competing quantum dot manufacturers.