Turkey aims leap in nanoscience, producing ‘kilos’ of quantum dots
September 14, 2014
Quantum dots are a semiconductor materials formed by nanocrystals and are used in a wide spectrum of high-tech products. AA Photo
A laboratory in İzmir has started working to produce quantum dots, a semiconductor material formed by nanocrystals and are used in a wide spectrum of high-tech products, from LCD monitors to solar panels, to put Turkey on the nanoscience map.
Turkish scientists have succeeded in producing their first home-bred quantum dots, launching research on new generation screen technologies and cancer diagnosis procedures. They have also embarked for industrial production, aiming to produce “more than one kilo” of quantum dots every day until the end of the year.
Serdar Özçelik, head of İzmir’s High Technology Institute (İYTE) in charge of the production, said a milligram of quantum dots varied between $10 and $150, depending on the quality.
“So we are speaking about a material of which a kilogram costs at least $10 million. The products in which they are used are in the center of daily life and projects are being conducted in leading universities to develop and industrially produce them,” Özçelik said.
He added only two high-tech companies in the United States were able to produce over one kilo of quantum dots a day. “Our target is to reach that level with the reactors that we bought at the end of the year,” Özçelik said.
The project was put forth by Turkey’s Science Board, TÜBİTAK, and will be assisted by the Development Ministry.
Turkey has been lagging behind regarding high-tech industry, as well as in terms of the number of its patents, with the emphasis on innovation hardly translated into successful policies. But Özçelik has incited companies to invest in the field, emphasizing they may be rewarded with profits of up to 20 times higher than the cost. “There is much market research and many predictions regarding nanotechnologies. We want to attract the attention of the Turkish private sector and bring Turkey into a leading country in the field with their enterprises,” he said, adding otherwise Turkey would be condemned to remain an importing country regarding nanotechnologies.