UbiQD wins grant to turn windows into solar generators - Albuquerque Journal

UbiQD wins grant to turn windows into solar generators

The Los Alamos-based startup Ubiquitous Quantum Dots, or UbiQD LLC, believes it can harness the solar rays that beam through windows every day to power consumer products, and eventually entire buildings.

The company, which is commercializing a low-cost method for manufacturing quantum dots, won a $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to apply its dot technology as a coating on glass windows. As the sun beams through, the quantum dots would absorb solar energy and then channel photons to solar cells attached to window frames, said UbiQD founder and President Hunter McDaniel.

“Our vision is to turn ubiquitous, every day windows into sunlight harvesters.” Hunter said. “Think of skyscrapers that power cities.”

The concept isn’t new. But most companies today are working to attach transparent solar cells directly to windows, which is a more complex and potentially expensive process. In contrast, using UbiQD’s low-cost quantum dots as a glass coating and attaching photovoltaic cells to the window frames could make the process much more simple and affordable.

It’s the latest potential application for UbiQD’s quantum dot manufacturing process, which it licensed from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hunter helped develop that technology as a post-doc at LANL.

Quantum dots are tiny, three-dimensional structures measuring about 10,000 times smaller than a human hair. The structures manipulate light in unique ways, absorbing it and emitting it back out in specific colors. They’re used in everything from transistors and sunscreen to LCD televisions, tablets and smartphones. But traditionally, they’ve been extremely expensive to make, and they’re usually composed of toxic materials.

UbiQD’s product, however, is made through a new, inexpensive process that uses low-cost and low-toxic materials. Until now, the company had focused on other commercial applications for its dots, such as creating luminous paints for signage, or in plastics to make them glow.

While at LANL, McDaniel assisted scientists on integrating quantum dots into plexiglas. Now, with the NSF grant, his company will adapt that coating process to glass. It will first apply its solar window technology for charging consumer products like smartphones, and later move onto automobiles and buildings.

“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. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., in a prepared statement announcing the NSF grant. “It’s another great example of how technology developed at our national laboratories can spur industry and create jobs here at home.”

Home » Business » Energy » UbiQD wins grant to turn windows into solar generators

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
How will EU ban and West's price cap on ...
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- The European ... FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- The European Union is taking another big step toward cutting its energy ties with Russia. The 27-nation bloc is banning ...
Bill would allow New Mexico cities, counties, tribes to ...
ABQnews Seeker
The proposed legislation would allow local ... The proposed legislation would allow local governments to take over electric generation from privately run utilities.
In the near future, clean geothermal energy could heat ...
ABQnews Seeker
The University of New Mexico's Utility ... The University of New Mexico's Utility Services Department could in the near future he ...
There’s almost unlimited clean, geothermal energy under our feet. ...
ABQnews Seeker
Modern drilling capabilities developed by the ... Modern drilling capabilities developed by the oil and gas industry are opening the gateway to deep underground geothermal energy.
Sandia National Laboratories' drilling research, long used by oil ...
ABQnews Seeker
Sandia wants to make those efforts ... Sandia wants to make those efforts more efficient and less expensive
House GOP seeks new restrictions on use of US ...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the second ... WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the second time this month, House Republicans have advanced a measure to restrict presidential use of the nation's emergency oil ...
Lights out in Pakistan as energy-saving move backfires
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Most of Pakistan ... ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Most of Pakistan was left without power Monday as an energy-saving measure by the government backfired. The outage spread panic and ...
Average NM January heating bills jump 56%
ABQnews Seeker
A 15-year high in natural gas ... A 15-year high in natural gas prices and war in Ukraine are main factors
Study: Big gap in carbon removal effort key to ...
BERLIN (AP) -- Researchers say efforts ... BERLIN (AP) -- Researchers say efforts to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere aren't being scaled up fast enough and can't be relied on ...