Entrepreneur and energy conservationist William Kurtz of Aerolenz, LLC, forged an alliance through NMSBA with Sandia National Laboratories to conduct experiments related to spectrally controllable materials. When the technology showed promise, Kurtz formed a new company, IR Dynamics, with the goal of manufacturing and marketing these new materials.
The thermally dynamic materials are in the form of nanoparticles. One of the principal applications of these nanoparticles is as a coating or film for windows in residential and commercial buildings. Once applied, on cold days the windows transmit the sun’s heat into the structure. On hot days, the nanoparticles automatically shift so that the windows reject the sun’s heat, keeping the inside of the structure cool. The coating is passive by nature, requiring no electronicsor power source to shift back and forth from transmitting to repelling heat.
To ascertain the feasibility of manufacturing such innovative coatings, research scientists Raegan Johnson, Nelson Bell, and Paul Clem of Sandia provided structural and optical characterization data, materials analyses, and scientific consulting. IR Dynamics has since established a Cooperative Research and
Development Agreement (CRADA) with Sandia for further development.
The company has raised $600,000 in private equity funding, secured $100,000 in grants, and received a $1.95 million grant from the Department of Energy. The plan is to build a lab and hire two to four employees. The worldwide market for the window coatings alone will be worth an estimated $5 billion by 2020. Other applications for the nanoparticles range from apparel to aerospace.