Lead Performer: National Renewable Energy Laboratory – Golden, CO
Partner: UbiQD, LLC – Los Alamos, New Mexico
DOE Total Funding: $300,000
FY16 DOE Funding: $300,000
Cost Share: $60,000
Project Term: August 18, 2016 – August 18, 2017

Project Objective

UbiQD, LLC manufactures semi-transparent, quantum dot (or colloidal semiconductor nanocrystal) window coatings that, when combined with solar cells in the window frame, capture a fraction of the incident sunlight for electricity while retaining the functionality of the window. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is testing UbiQD’s prototypes to simulate different weather and sunlight conditions, allowing measurements of their performance, durability, and stability. NREL’s electron microscopes and ultrafast spectroscopy will help UbiQD optimize its material inputs, which are QD dispersions of I-III-VI semiconductors (CuInS2, CuInSexS2-x, CuGaS2 and AgInSe2). NREL and UbiQD will also model how this technology’s costs are affected by geographical location and other considerations, like the cost of inverters and connecting its power to the grid.

Project Impact

Unlike other commercialized quantum dots, UbiQD’s nanocrystals are non-carcinogenic, lacking toxic heavy metals like cadmium, lead, or phosphines which make them environmentally friendly. Even though UbiQD can already manufacture these efficient quantum dots at low costs, NREL’s facilities and world-renowned expertise on solar technology will verify and enhance UbiQD’s technology, which will provide them with credibility in the marketplace. Because UbiQD’s quantum dots can absorb a broad spectrum of light, convert that into electricity or light, and exist as liquids, solids, powders, or films, the applications are immense. Quantum-dot-coated windows could revolutionize how the built environment creates energy, uses energy, shares energy – autonomously, cleanly, economically, efficiently, and invisibly.


DOE Technology Manager: Marc LaFrance
Lead Performer: National Renewable Energy Laboratory