SBIR Phase I: New Low Cost and Large Scale Manufacturing of Semiconductor Nanocrystals

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Navillum Nanotechnologies, LLC
717 5th Avenue, #204, Salt Lake City, UT, 84103-3572
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Jacqueline Siy-Ronquillo
(419) 481-1160
Business Contact:
Jacqueline Siy-Ronquillo
(419) 481-1160
Research Institution:

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project describes development of a manufacturing method for production of large-scale, consistently high-quality and low-cost semiconductor nanocrystals, such as quantum dots. The unique size- and shape-related properties of these materials make them useful for light emission applications (including biological labeling and displays) or for light harnessing applications (solar panels). Despite the great potential of nanocrystal-based technologies, a major barrier is the production of high-quality nanocrystals in commercially viable amounts at low cost. The proposed research activities directly address these limitations through an innovative patent-pending low-temperature wet chemical synthesis route. Compared to the conventional high-temperature synthesis route, the advantage of this method is that it can precisely control the size and shape of products - properties that are necessary for successful incorporation of these products into end-user applications. Additionally, this method circumvents scaling limitations of conventional high-temperature synthesis routes. This Phase I funding focuses on demonstrating scaled-up production of high-quality nanocrystals with consistent, predictable properties using this low-temperature synthesis method. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is that it solves several challenges currently hindering broader commercialization of semiconductor nanocrystals worldwide. If successful, nanocrystals will be produced in large quantities, inexpensively and uniformly, resulting in a disruptive advance for existing markets and emerging applications. With greater availability and affordability, nanocrystals can be more easily utilized for energy efficient lighting and displays, improve color quality in displays (laptops, tablets, cameras and mobile devices), increase efficiency of solar panels, and penetrate more widely into applications in medical research, diagnostics and treatment. Emerging applications include the use of semiconductor nanocrystals for biofuel cells, lasers, fiber optics, electronics, security and surveillance, aviation and geothermal tracers. Given the immense potential of these materials in diverse market segments, the results from this effort can catalyze broader commercialization of these materials by removing the barriers to manufacturing. This research will also give a greater insight into the basic behavior of nanocrystals and into their formation and growth, issues which are essential for the design and incorporation of these materials into specific applications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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