Evident Technologies shifts focus to thermoelectrics to meet industry demands
Evident Technologies once used semiconductor nanocrystals in biotechnology, for LEDs. Now the Troy, New York company is using nano-sized semiconductors for thermoelectric uses.
It’s part of the company’s push into the thermoelectric industry aided by an agreement to use NASA-developed technology to market a new line of commercial products, said CEO Clint Ballinger.
Evident was one of the region’s first companies devoted to nanotechnology. The company developed nanocrystal “quantum dots” that can be used in a wide variety of applications, including flat screen TVs, cancer treatments and Christmas lights. In 2010, a federal judge cleared Evident to emerge from bankruptcy following excessive legal fees tied to a patent infringement lawsuit in Texas.
The company is now shifting its focus to thermoelectrics and going by the name Evident Thermoelectrics. Thermoelectric materials convert heat into electricity. They can be used to increase efficiency and deliver low-cost solutions for harvesting waste heat.
“A few years ago we started focusing on this because energy is such a big global issue and we knew that our nanomaterials were ideally suited for thermoelectrics,” Ballinger said. “So we jumped in and started doing research, largely using funds from other licensing opportunities to form the operation.”
This material, Ballinger said takes high temperatures such as what you see in a car or a jet engine and industries like steel manufacturing and turns that into electricity.
“The world needs more energy and efficiency to convert it into something useful,” Ballinger said. “In a car if you capture some of the heat and use that for electricity you can get rid of the alternator on the car and reduces gas mileage by 8 percent.”