Folding QLED screen, Quiet Supersonic Plane and Capturing CO2
This week we examine a Folding Quantum Dot LED. Imagine a screen that can be folded like Origami paper. We also look at NASA’a new low noise Supersonic Plane that has no pilot’s window. We discover a new method for capturing CO2 using Metal Organic Frameworks and finally we visit some of the startups that presented at the StartMate Demo Day last week. 19 new companies that are ready to take on the world.
Folding Quantum dot LED
The next generation of display technologies will be much more flexible thanks to a development by researchers at Seoul National University. Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diodes (QLED) displays do not require bulky components such as backlights making the screens much thinner. The researchers have now developed a device that is only 3 micrometers thick. That is 1/13th of the thickness of a human hair.
This extremely reduced thickness gives the QLED outstanding mechanical flexibility. The team recently advanced the technology and developed a foldable variant of the ultra thin QLED screen. The foldability was enabled by etching an epoxy film deposited on the QLED surface without damaging the underling QLED. The laser etched part of the device is relatively thinner than the surrounds allowing the screen to be folded like origami paper.
The technology was able to fabricate 3D foldable QLEDs with complex shapes such as butterflies, airplanes and pyramids. Maybe this is a precursor to the day when electronic paper replaces real paper.
Low Noise Supersonic Plane
NASA has developed a new low noise supersonic plane. When an aircraft travels faster than the speed of sound, shockwaves form and travel away from the aircraft. These shockwaves merge and generate sonic booms which can be heard on the ground for miles around.
The X-59 removes the sonic boom associated with traveling faster than the speed of sound by using a 10 meter long needle shape nose cone. This reduces the sound to a sonic thud rather than a boom. The sound is low enough to allow the jet to fly faster than the speed of sound (1,235kph) over populated areas.
The downside of the design is that the plane is unable to have a forward facing window. The pilot will fly virtually using NASA’s eXternal Vision System (XVS). The system provides an electronic window via a pair of high resolution cameras and a 4k monitor. A second camera below the nose can be extended during takeoff and landing.
Converting Carbon Dioxide into Useful Compounds
Carbon Dioxide is an inert and very stable molecule it is difficult to get it to react using conventional conversion processes. Researchers from Kyoto University in Japan have developed an energy efficient method to convert CO2 into useful chemicals.
The team used Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) to capture the gas at 25C under a pressure of 0.1Mpa (the atmospheric pressure on the earth’s surface). The gas is bubbled through the a solution with an organic molecule called piperazine. The MOF quickly emerged as a white microcrystalline powder that is easily collected and dried.
MOFs have a wide range of uses and can hold large amounts of gas. They also show promise as storage devices for hydrogen fuel.
StartMate Demo Day
Startmate, an Australian and New Zealand based startup accelerator held their demo day recently. There were 19 presentations by a range of great startups from Agtech, FinTech, Mental Health, Payments, Medical, Robotics, Shipping, Education and Consumer Products. You can find the full list here. Below are a few of the startups that I found interesting.
Vertus uses bio-electrochemical principles to produce biofuel with high methane content from organic waste. Anaerobic digesters are commonly used to convert organic waste to gas that can be used in industrial and other processes. Digesters are however, relatively inefficient and slow. The BRIO increases the efficiency of Anaerobic Digestion by up to 3 times.
The BIRO is placed inside the digester which is then able to process 3 times the amount of waste and generate 3 times the amount of energy with the same sized system. The gas generated is methane rich (80%). Their second technology, BODA, is a carbon sequestration and conversion technology. The BODA uses CO2 and H2 to produce a Renewable Natural Gas.
EnergyBank is a renewable energy storage technology that stores generated power as potential energy by moving multiple thousand tonne masses back and forth between the ocean floor and the surface. The weights can be moved over depths of 4 to 8 kilometers.
The energy storage can be provided at larger scale and lower cost than other comparable energy storage systems.
Cipherstash is securing the world’s data by making it easy for developers to build searchable encryption into applications. Currently for data to be searchable it is stored in databases as raw data. If the database is compromised the data is lost. CipherStash improves data security by ensuring that user data is always encrypted whilst still providing search capability. If the database is compromised only encrypted unreadable data can be seen.
Most cybersecurity experts say that every Corporate database has likely been hacked, we just don’t know it yet. CipherStash keeps data encrypted at all times and is able to execute searches at a speed similar to traditional databases. The user controls the encryption keys meaning that CipherStash never “sees” your unencrypted data.
Paying it Forward
If you have a start-up or know of a start-up that has a product ready for market please let me know. I would be happy to have a look and feature the startup in this newsletter. Also if any startups need introductions please get in touch and I will help where I can.
If you have any questions or comments please email me via my website craigcarlyon.com or comment below.
I would also appreciate it if you could forward this newsletter to anyone that you think might be interested.
Till next week.