SBIR Phase II: Quantum Dot / Fluoropolymer Composites: A New Approach for Enhancing Performance in Light Sources

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
657 S MECHANIC STREET, Suite 110, PENDLETON, SC, 29670
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Earl Wagener
(864) 653-4339
Business Contact:
Earl Wagener
(864) 653-4339
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project describes an innovative approach to encapsulating nanocrystals (quantum dots and rare earth doped inorganics) using functionalized perfluorocyclobutyl (PFCB) polymers. This project will expand the range of ligands synthesized in Phase I specifically designed to enhance the encapsulation of nanocrystals currently being developed for commercialization in the rapidly growing light emitting diodes, displays, planar infrared amplifiers and photovoltaic markets. In Phase I, the company developed a significant competitive advantage by increasing nanocrystal loading to unprecedented levels with uniform distribution and little or no loss of performance. Further competitive advantages over current encapsulating polymers such as silicones, epoxies, and polycarbonates are Tg's above 250 0C, optical clarity at 800, 1330 and 1550 nm, and no free radicals or by-products during polymerization. This encapsulating performance creates an excellent competitive advantage since it meets a critical enabling need in the field of nanophotonics. The technical objectives for this project are 1) Synthesize 7 new functionalized polymers 2) Work with nanocrystal and device manufacturers to commercialize new nanocrystal composites for the markets shown above 3) Down select and scale up the best materials for commercialization. The Tetramer team has over 50 years of successful specialty polymer commercialization. If successful the results of this project will enhance scientific and technical knowledge in the very active field of quantum dot and rare earth doped inorganic nanocrystals. In particular, the interaction between the unique functionalized PFCB polymers and the nanocrystal surface will provide new fundamental technical insights for the origins of performance of these materials in LED's, displays, infrared amplifiers, and photovoltaic devices. Improvement of devices in these markets has the potential for strong societal and commercial impact. For example, light emitting diodes replacing incandescent lighting alone could decrease national energy consumption by 29%, while more efficient, lower cost solar cells would reduce the US dependence on foreign oil. Use of these new encapsulating materials will enable new device designs for these high priority markets. This in turn will lead to improved cost performance therefore accelerating commercialization and the subsequent societal benefits of reduced energy usage and improved communications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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