Your new TV or monitor could soon be made from rice

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 – luckily Japanese scientists have found a way to not only reduce these harmful substances, but also make good use of some food waste.

As reported by 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, has a wide range applications in the world of technology.

Ken-ichi Saitow, the study’s lead author and professor of chemistry at Hiroshima University, spoke to Tech Xplore about it, saying: deliberate when using nanomaterials. Our proposed process and manufacturing method for QDs 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 luminescence efficiency and more complex issues such as light spectrum responses outside the orange-red region.

Still, seeing this method applied in displays that are shipping to us may not be that far off, 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 burn-in is also a bonus that gives consumers some peace of mind.

Not to mention it could help with some of our global food waste. It is estimated that around 100 million tons of rice husk waste is produced globally, and research suggests that we could be looking at other areas of agricultural waste to produce silicon, crops like barley, wheat and even grass being rich in this element.

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Opinion: Quirky, quantum goodness

I often speak candidly about the conflict between my eco-anxiety and my love of technology, so while I initially thought it might be a bit niche or gimmicky, I’m definitely excited about the possibilities.

When we talk about the term “chip shortage” or “silicon shortage”, it is not exactly a 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, which places it as the second most abundant element on earth behind oxygen, but that doesn’t mean that harvesting it and then engineering it to meet our needs doesn’t come with inherently harmful problems.

Food waste is however 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 some of it as sustainable alternative in our current production certainly sounds positive.

Discussions are focused solely on display technology for now, but perhaps years later we might see some of these methods applied to traditional silicon wafer production as well.

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