Hague Corp, a resource exploration company, has announced that Solterra
Renewable Technologies, Inc. has concluded the worldwide exclusive license
with the William Marsh Rice University for intellectual property which includes
the "Synthesis of Uniform Nanoparticle Shapes with High Selectivity."
The licensing agreement field of use broadly covers the manufacture and sale
of photovoltaic cells and the manufacture and sales of quantum dots for electronic
and medical applications. Hague and Solterra announced they had entered into
a binding letter of intent on October 3, 2008.
Rice University’s breakthrough discovery has been the highlight of numerous
scientific journal articles and has gained the attention of mainstream news
media. This new chemical method for making low cost, four-legged cadmium selenide
quantum dots, which previous research has shown to be particularly effective
at converting sunlight into electrical energy, knocks down a major barrier in
developing quantum-dot-based photovoltaics as an alternative to the conventional,
more expensive silicon-based solar cells.
“The lack of low cost, high-quality tetrapods of the cadmium selenide
kind has been a major roadblock in developing tetrapod-based solar cell devices.
With this breakthrough technology that is no longer the case,” said Stephen
B. Squires, CEO and President of Solterra Renewable Technologies, Inc. Squires
continued with, “We believe that we are now positioned to revolutionize
the solar panel industry in offering the most cost effective and efficient panels
ever produced at a time that they are more in demand than ever before.”
The Rice process produces same-sized particles, in which more than 90 percent
are tetrapods; previously even in the best recipe less than 50 percent of the
prepared particles were tetrapods. Furthermore, the Rice process uses much cheaper
raw materials and fewer purification steps reducing the production cost by 80%
or more. A positively charged molecule called cetyltrimethylammonium bromide
provides this drastic improvement in tetrapod manufacture. This compound, found
in some shampoos, also happens to be 100 times cheaper than alkylphosphonic
acids and is far safer, further simplifying the manufacturing process.
In addition to photovoltaic applications low cost high quality quantum dots
are widely thought to be the enabling factor for a variety of other emerging
technologies including high performance QD based lasers, color displays, solid
state lighting, bioimaging, quantum computers and solar/hydrogen generation.
Solterra is scheduled to begin scale up of this revolutionary technology in
early November 2008 with commercial production anticipated to begin in the second
half of 2009.