Quantum Dot LED technology might be better recognized as QLED, the name Samsung and TCL use in marketing material, but you might not know that its production requires some pretty toxic components; Fortunately, Japanese scientists have found a way to not only reduce these harmful substances, but also make good use of some food waste.
According to Tom's Hardware, it has been found that rice husks can be used as a decent source of porous silicon (Si) and silicon oxide (SiO2) which, like traditional silicon, have a wide range of applications in the world of technology.
Ken-ichi Saitow, lead author of the study and professor of chemistry at Hiroshima University, spoke to Tech Xplore about it, saying: deliberately by using nanomaterials. Our proposed process and manufacturing method for QD minimizes these concerns.
It's far from a perfect process, but it certainly shows promise. Currently, the scientists developing the innovative recycling method are not satisfied enough to welcome it onto commercial production lines. But they say they want to further develop the efficiency of luminescence and more complex questions, such as light spectrum responses outside the orange-red region.
Still, seeing this method applied to screens shipped to us may not be that far away, which is great news given that TVs and monitors using quantum dot technology can achieve better levels of brightness, contrast, and life expectancy than OLED screens. The fact that there is no risk of burning is also an advantage that gives consumers peace of mind.
Not to mention it could help with some of our global food waste. It's estimated that around 100 million tons of rice husk waste is produced globally, and research suggests we could be looking to other areas of agricultural waste to produce silicon, crops like barley, wheat and even grass. They are rich in this element.
Opinion: Quirky Quantum Goodness
I often speak candidly about the conflict between my eco-anxiety and my love of technology, so while at first I thought it might be a bit of a niche or gimmick, I'm definitely excited about the possibilities.
When we talk about the term “chip shortage” or “silicon shortage”, it is not exactly about the lack of the element itself, but more delays in the technology production process; after all, it represents 27,7% of our entire planet. the earth's crust, making it the second most abundant element on earth after oxygen, but that doesn't mean that collecting it and then engineering it to meet our needs doesn't have inherently harmful problems.
However, food waste is a problem that contributes to greenhouse gases and rising global temperatures, and although some of this is for animal feed in the agricultural industry, using it as a sustainable alternative in our current production will certainly sounds positive.
Discussions focus solely on display technology for now, but perhaps years later we may see some of these methods applied to traditional silicon wafer production as well.