UbiQD, a New Mexico-based nanotechnology development company, has launched its first commercial quantum dot (QD)-containing product, the UbiGro greenhouse film.
"We developed a safer, cheaper, more reliable quantum dot technology and are applying it in greenhouse films in order to red-shift the sun's spectrum year-round, regardless of location," said Dr. Matt Bergren, Chief of Product at UbiQD. "In our initial commercial pilot program, these films have demonstrated boosts in crop yields in excess of 10% for various plants, improvements in crop quality, and grower feedback has been positive."
UbiGro is a retrofit luminescent film that hangs over crops and can be quickly installed and tested in a portion of an existing greenhouse. The film is currently installed in five commercial greenhouses across New Mexico, Oregon, and Colorado, where growers are producing tomatoes, cucumbers, cannabis, and hemp.
Bergren explained that while almost every aspect of greenhouse agriculture is optimized and controlled precisely, sunlight can vary in color and intensity depending on the season and climate. The UbiGro film contains safe, copper-based quantum dots that tailor the spectrum of sunlight for optimized crop growth by converting portions of ultraviolet, blue, and green sunlight into an orange glow above the plants. This November, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted UbiQD approval to start large-scale commercial production of its dots.
"The EPA-approval of our pre-manufacturing notice puts us into an elite group of nanotechnology companies approved to go beyond R&D production into commercial supply," said Dr. Hunter McDaniel, CEO at UbiQD. "We are excited to be enhancing both the environmental and economic sustainability of the greenhouse industry, working with growers throughout the world to facilitate the most efficient greenhouse environments."