Nano Elements Source, LLC, located in McDonald, Tennessee has been selected to work alongside the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help their technology get closer to the marketplace.
The business is among 43 selected to participate in the second round of DOE’s Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot. With these vouchers, the businesses can take advantage of the department’s National Laboratory System and bring their next-generation clean energy technologies to the marketplace faster. The 43 awards total more than $8 million and are worth up to $300,000 each at a lab.
Nano Elements Source, LLC, was chosen along with five others to collaborate with ORNL. The company will work with the national lab to further commercialize the production of low cost, cadmium free photoluminescent nanoparticles for applications in solid-state lighting.
“The team at Oak Ridge has the best experience and the best alignment of resources we could have asked for. It’s exactly what we need at this stage of our business. This SBV award gives us the chance at succeeding,” said Dr. Beth Papanek, Vice President of Business Development at Nano Elements Source, LLC.
The business is a biotech startup offering affordable, environmentally-conscious quantum dot cores. The nanoparticles are in the center of the quantum dots, and they are particles that emit light. Quantum dots are commonly used in consumer electronics such as TV screens and tablets. Quantum dots are considered more energy efficient than LED lights, because unlike LEDs that have to filter out all the other light colors to get the desired color on an electronic device, quantum dots emit the desired color right away without producing excess amounts of light. They ultimately use less electricity to get the same desired picture on a TV screen or tablet.
Nanoparticles and quantum dot cores go hand-in-hand. The way nanoparticles are currently produced now is energy-intensive and environmentally unfriendly because they produce hazardous waste. But Nano Elements Source, LLC has come up with a natural process that will produce high-quality quantum dots without consuming as much energy through using bacteria and fermentation.
Nanofermentation reduces the required energy consumption by operating at 70℃ with no additional mechanical inputs. By comparison, current technologies for nanoparticle production include harmful chemicals, temperatures from 400-600℃ and mechanical grinding to reduce the size of the particles. These methods make the energy requirements and cost for producing the particles extremely high. The reduction in heat and processing through fermentation greatly improves the energy efficiency of producing quantum dot cores.
For a look at the other businesses that will be working with ORNL, click here.
— Oak Ridge Lab (@ORNL) August 23, 2016