Nanoco, a quantum dot producer which grew out of a university spin-out, has taken a significant stride to becoming one of the UK’s most significant nanotechnology companies thanks to the UK Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN).

The nanotechnology company was initially formed at the University of Manchester and has since risen to become a world-leader in the development and manufacture of cadmium-free quantum dots. The company, which for the first time has allowed the mass production of quantum dots, has managed to secure commercial agreements with several blue-chip industrial and consumer goods organisations, in product areas including electronics, lighting and solar photovoltaic technology with the help of the NanoKTN.

Quantum dot technology has many different applications including uses in solid state lighting, next generation displays and life sciences. However, the ground-breaking technology has promising uses for solar technology as well. The company’s advanced PV based quantum dots are being developed in such a way that they are capable of forming printable inks in a variety of solvents, paving the way for low cost, roll to roll production of new solar cell technologies.

Nanoco’s advanced photovoltaic quantum dots use an organic ‘capping agent’, which allows them to be printed easily by a variety of techniques. Once printed, the organic capping agent is removed, providing an inorganic photoactive layer of the desired phase.

Dr Nigel Pickett, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder Professor Paul O’Brien, believe that the active support and promotion provided by the NanoKTN has been of great value in the Company’s development.

“Nanoco is another great success story coming from a UK university – spinning out a nanotechnology application from the University of Manchester and growing it into the thriving global business that Nanoco is today. The NanoKTN will continue to work with Nanoco and other UK nanotechnology businesses to ensure that UK nanotechnology is securely embedded in the global market,” commented Dr Martin Kemp, Theme Manager at the NanoKTN.