UbiQD, LLC, a New Mexico-based quantum dot manufacturer, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant by the National Science Foundation. The 12-month $225,000 award is intended to help fund research and development of luminescent solar concentrating glass windows with quantum dot coatings. In July, the company expanded its license to include the proof-of-concept work on this technology, originally developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in collaboration with Italy’s University of Milano-Bicocca.
The UbiQD team celebrates the opening of its new quantum dot manufacturing facility in Los Alamos, New Mexico on July 29, 2016. From left to right: Board Members Dudley McDaniel and Colin Cumming, Director Karthik Ramasamy, Founder and President Hunter McDaniel, Board Member Katharine Chartrand, Director Aaron Jackson, and Director Matt Bergren
“It’s a privilege to receive an SBIR award through the National Science Foundation because it enables us to accelerate our growth and focus on a particularly large market opportunity for our low-hazard, low-cost quantum dot technology,” said Dr. Hunter McDaniel, founder and president of UbiQD. “Our vision is to turn ubiquitous, everyday windows into sunlight harvesters. Think of skyscrapers that power cities.”
Until now, UbiQD has broadly explored potential markets for its patented technology, including lighting, security, design, and safety applications; earlier this month the company was issued a patent for “quantum dot security inks.” With this new award and other recent developments, however, the company will focus its efforts primarily on solar energy.
“This new investment will further important research at UbiQD to strengthen the intersection of solar energy and advanced materials such as nanoparticles,” said U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), in reference to the award and UbiQD’s focus on solar technologies. “It's another great example of how technology developed at our national laboratories can spur industry and create jobs here at home. New Mexico, with its abundant solar resources, can and should be at the epicenter of America's clean energy economy. I will continue to do all I can to ensure this becomes a reality.”
UbiQD’s new SBIR grant and technology license are just two of several recent milestones for the company, as they also recently brought on two new employees to the team — Dr. Karthik Ramasamy to lead manufacturing and Dr. Aaron Jackson to lead nanocomposite development. UbiQD has filed several new patents this year, including one related to sunlight-harvesting safety glass windows. Previously based out of the New Mexico Consortium, in July UbiQD began operating from a newly renovated Los Alamos-based facility. The 9,000-square-foot space allows for scale-up of manufacturing and continued expansion.