Some forms of Printed Electronic use “ink”. Ink formulations have come a long way since fruits and plants were used to provide stains for cave paintings. Today’s conductive ink formulations may use extracts from soy or highly particle-ized metals of silver, copper or carbon materials. The quest in security inks is for novel and singular uncopyable systems. Cost is the biggest issue and limiting factor for expanding usage of quantum dots in the ink markets.
The Printed Electronics industry is a leader in moving on environmental issues. The newsprinting industry switched to ecological friendly soy ink years ago. It is safe to say there are very few applications that will be filled with heavy metal inks. Non-heavy metal quantum dot and semiconductor nanocrystals must be developed to meet this requirement and challenge.
Opportunities in the Security Ink field include Brand Identification, Anticounterfeiting, Track & Trace, and Product Authentication. Although Quantum Dots are the newcomer to the ink market they bring many advantages. Their Smaller size is better than large QD for meeting inkjet printing requirements and semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots are many times smaller than conductive metals with measurements starting at 2NM.
Automating the QD manufacturing process and then scaling to large scale production of high quality and performance quantum dots that add value will created new markets for wide distribution and usage volumes. The cost of using quantum dots will come by decline by changing a novelty into a commodity. QMC CSO, Dr. Ghassan Jabbour has written extensively on printing quantum dot inks. Quantum Materials can offer a variety of non-heavy metal inks tailored to the requirements of the project.
In addition, inorganic and insoluble QD are are more durable than dyes or pigments and resistant to aging by photobleaching without surface modification for longer product lifetimes. Due to advantageous size and characteristics, fewer quantum dots may be needed due to lower loading levels needed for most ink applications.
Solterra Renewable Technologies, Inc., the wholly-owned subsidiary of QMC is developing Next-Gen QD Solar Cells printing by roll-to-roll processes.
Quantum Materials Corp. and Texas State University signed an Industry -Academic Partnership in 2013. Texas State's Advanced Functional Materials Laboratory, outfitted with state-of-the-art characterization and analysis equipment will assist Quantum Materials' nearby Wet Labs in special projects designed to produce department scientific papers advancing tetrapod quantum dot research.