Facile, High Yield Synthesis and Purification of CdS Quantum Dots from Optimized Strains of S. maltophilia


A major barrier to the utilization of quantum dots (QDs) in commercial applications is the high cost associated with conventional chemical synthesis as well as the use of high temperatures and toxic solvents, thereby requiring specialized, expensive waste disposal procedures. Lehigh University has developed an optimized, bacterial-based synthesis method for semiconductor quantum dots that does not require expensive reagents, solvents or other materials. The process is capable of producing large quantities of QDs from a continuous process at a cost less than $1 per gram, whereas traditional technology an cost upwards of $10,000 per gram.  [1,2] The technology enables the producing of QDs on a scale necessary for their successful use in a number of commercial applications such in solar cells, light emitting diodes and medical imaging 

Lehigh Tech ID#081211-01


It is predicted that the market for products relying on quantum dots will reach $721 million in 2013, which is up from $28.6 million in 2008. This is a large growth prediction, mainly based on higher demands for energy efficient technologies where QDs can have a significant impact. Currently QDs has established themselves in a niche market for life sciences and biomedical applications, but improvements in manufacturing of QDs focused on cost reduction will open up opportunity within the energy sector, especially within solar cells products whose market is expected to reach $96 billion in the next three years. [1,2,3]


[1] “Quantum Dots Go Large.” June 10, 2009. Nature Magazine. Nature web site (subscription required). http://www.nature.com (accessed August 12, 2011).

[2] Patel, Prachi.. “Quantum Dots as Solar Cells.” April 4, 2011. Technology Review web site. http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/37248/ (accessed August 12, 2011).

[3] “Quantum Dots: Technical Status and Market Prospective.” BCC Research web site. http://www.bccresearch.com/report/NAN027B.html (accessed August 25, 2011).

[4] “Solar Energy Market Growth.” 2010 Solar Buzz: Solar Market and Analysis web site. http://solarbuzz.com/facts-and-figures/markets-growth/market-growth (accessed August 12, 2011).

[5] “Futuretech Alert. Quantum Dots--Market Prospects and the Road Ahead.” September 24, 2010. Frost and Sullivan web site (subscription required). http://www.frost.com (accessed August 12, 2011).



Lehigh University is interested in both licensing this technology or in finding investment partners to establish a start-up for this technology.    

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Provisional [PR] United States 61/524,126 8/16/2011   8/16/2012
Patent Cooperation Treaty [PCT] United States PCT/US2012/051068 8/16/2012   8/21/2015
Utility United States 14/239,175 9,293,717 2/17/2014 3/22/2016 8/23/2036
For Information, Contact:
Rick Smith
Lehigh University
Bryan Berger
Steven Mcintosh
Efficiency Enhancement
Solid State Displays