Safe Quantum Dot Materials for Solid-State Lighting Leveraged Project
The technical assistance we received from Los Alamos through NMSBA gave us the firepower to go to investors, partners and grant agencies so that we can better compete in this growing worldwide market.
LED systems are becoming the lighting of the future. However, LEDs cannot
achieve the purity of color created by traditional bulbs, so can feel too bright.
Quantum dots are effective at converting one spectrum of light into another,
making them an attractive potential material for LED lighting. Yet most quantum
dots are toxic and they haven’t been proven to have the color purity needed.
UbiQD in Los Alamos has quantum dot technology that is nontoxic, but
they needed to validate its color purity. To address this issue, UbiQD, and
collaborators Central Park Square, LLC and Stephen Auger Studio, LLC,
reached out to NMSBA, which connected them with Victor Klimov at
Los Alamos National Laboratory. Klimov and his team have extensive expertise
in quantum dots. They took UbiQD’s quantum-dot design and quantified its
fundamental color purity limits, also known as linewidth or luminescence.
Klimov and his team demonstrated that these single quantum dots have
a color purity of approximately 20 nanometers, exceeding the minimum
50-nanometer color purity necessary for LEDs. With this quantitative proof in
hand, the collaborators now know that there are no fundamental limitations
when it comes to using their quantum dots for LED lighting.
The companies have received Small Business Innovation Research grants
including $150,000 from the Department of Energy and $225,000 from the
National Science Foundation. They also were awarded a $350,000 grant from
Breakout Labs and have received more than $2 million in investment funds
to compete in a growing $30 billion industry. They plan to continue to expand
and manufacture in New Mexico.