Quantum Materials boosts patent portfolio

Aug 21, 2014
Austin American Statesman

In a move to protect and expand its intellectual property, biosciences startup Quantum Materials has acquired five sets of patents from a German-based pharmaceutical giant

San Marcos-based Quantum said the patents provide broad intellectual property protection for its advances in economical, high-volume quantum dot manufacturing

Quantum is developing nanotechnology to improve solar panels, LED light panels and biomedical sensors

Financial terms of the purchase from Bayer Technology Services GmbH were not disclosed. Bayer Technology Services is part of Bayer AG of Leverkusen, Germany

“We acquired these patents to not only expand our technology portfolio…but also to protect the advances we have made to date in the volume manufacturing of nanoparticles, including quantum dots,” said Stephen Squires, Quantum Materials’ CEO. “Bayer is a research pioneer and these early filings were awarded with broad claims. It will be very difficult for competitors to produce materials in volume similar to ours without breaching our patents”

Founded in 2008, Quantum specializes in semiconductor nanocrystals known as quantum dots, which are tiny particles of semiconductor material that give off light when they are “excited” with energy, such as ultraviolet radiation

Quantum says its dot, called a tetrapod, has the potential to be better, cheaper and easier to work with than conventional dots because of its shape. While conventional dots are tiny spheres, the tetrapod dot has a spherical core with four arms that stick out like spikes, allowing it to disperse more easily

Last year, Quantum moved its headquarters from Oklahoma to Central Texas to tap into the region’s emerging nanotech and biotech industries

The company is based in the Star Park incubation center for technology companies that is affiliated with Texas State University. Financial backers, including Squires, have invested $3.7 million in Quantum

Quantum said last year that it has supplied sample quantities of its dots to three unnamed potential customers – an Asian display manufacturer, an LED light maker and a maker of advanced medical devices

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