Hunter McDaniel, PhD is UbiQD’s Founder and CEO. He transitioned from a postdoc position at LANL to the company’s first full-time employee in 2014. He has extensive relevant technical experience as he has worked on both traditional II-VI QDs (including those that contain cadmium) and I-III-VI QDs. During his career, Dr. McDaniel conducted research at top-tier research institutions; Los Alamos National Laboratory (2011-2014), Argonne National Laboratory (2011), University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (2006-2011), and University of California at Santa Barbara (2001-2006)). He is highly experienced in materials science and spectroscopy of semiconductor nanocrystals and their optoelectronic device applications (e.g., solar cells, LEDs). He also has worked directly with a major industrial partner Sharp Corporation on photovoltaic technology via a corporate R&D agreement. This work led to first-ever certification of a QD sensitized solar cell, generating three patent filings. He received several awards for leadership of the Young Investigator Committee of the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics (CASP), a Department of Energy funded Energy Frontier Research Center. He has over twenty publications with more than 1300 total citations, h-index: 16. Dr. McDaniel’s specific expertise includes: synthesis and processing of colloidal nanomaterials, optoelectronic devices (e.g., solar cells, light-emitting diodes, photodetectors, field-effect transistors) fabrication and characterization, electron microscopy (TEM, STEM, SEM), and continuous-wave and time-resolved spectroscopy of nanomaterials.
Dr. Matt Bergren is UbiQD's Cheif of Product. He received his bachelors of science in engineering physics at Colorado School of Mines and received his PhD in applied physics from the Colorado School of Mines in 2014 while performing research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO. Before joining UbiQD in the fall of 2015, Dr. Bergren held postdoctoral positions at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory studying carrier dynamics in CdTe thin film solar cells and at the Center for Integrated Nanostructure Physics, an Institute of Basic Science at Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea. Over the past 9 years, Dr. Bergren’s research has mainly focused on understanding the optoelectronic properties of nanostructures (including QDs, nanowires, two-dimensional semiconductors and nanocomposites). Matt is an expert in ultrafast and steady-state spectroscopy (including time-correlated single photon counting measurements, PLQY, time-resolved and steady-state PL, ultrafast transient absorption and time-resolved terahertz spectroscopy). Dr. Bergren is highly experienced with photoluminescence experiments, with numerous peer-reviewed publications, where he has studied the emission properties of QD solutions and thin films as well as nanocomposites.
Liseth Garay is UbiQD’s Operations Manager. Liseth has over 10 years of Business Administration experience working from the Hospitality Service industry to Biology Scientific Research industry and now the Quantum Dot Technology industry. Prior to joining UbiQD, Liseth held a Safety and Compliance management position at the New Mexico Consortium with a broad spectrum of responsibilities including compliance in all aspects of Environmental Health and Safety, Administration, Supervision, Banking, among others. Liseth received her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from a top 10 university in Mexico, Universidad Iberoamericana and her MBA from a local university, Eastern New Mexico University.
Dr. Karthik Ramasamy is the Director of Chemistry at UbiQD, and he leads R&D on synthetic methods and scale-up. He received his bachelors of science and masters in chemistry from Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India. Dr. Ramasamy received his PhD in Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Paul O’Brien (founder of Nanoco) at the University of Manchester, UK for a thesis titled “New Molecular Precursors for Metal Sulfides” in 2010. Before joining UbiQD in 2016, Dr. Ramasamy held postdoctoral positions at the University of Alabama and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Over the past eight years, Dr. Ramasamy’s research has mainly focused on developing new synthetic methods for metal chalcogenide nanocrystals. He has more than 50 publications and over 1,000 citations relating to quantum dots. Dr. Ramasamy is an expert at optimizing and scaling up the synthesis alloyed metal sulfides including CuInSeS QDs.
Dr. Jackson’s research career has been focused on applied polymer research and product development. In 2006, he graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Materials Science and engineering. At Cornell, Dr. Jackson studied fuel cell catalysts and fuel cell testing. In 2011, he graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering. His thesis focused on the development of nanoscale self-healing materials and applications, particularly for optical films. Within the framework of this research, he developed novel encapsulation methods and new self-healing chemistries. After Illinois, Dr. Jackson studied as a post-doctoral researcher at the Army Research Labs where he characterized morphologies of phase separated polymer structures including supramolecular polymer nanocomposites and fuel cells. His most recent position was at Axalta Coatings Systems developing formulations for solvent borne, low emissions paint systems. Dr. Jackson’s expertise related to this project includes industrial formulations, polymer engineering, nanoparticle functionalization, and polymer characterization (TEM, STEM, SEM, SAXS).
Dr. Nikolay Makarov is the Director of Applied Physics at UbiQD. He received his bachelors of science in mathematics at St. Petersburg State Univeristy and received his PhD in physics from Montana State University in 2010. Before joining UbiQD in the summer of 2016, Dr. Makarov held postdoctoral positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Over the past four years, Dr. Makarov’s research has mainly focused on understanding the optoelectronic properties of quantum dots, with a special focus on the same I-III-VI quantum dots that UbiQD is commercializing. Nikolay is an expert in ultrafast and steady-state spectroscopy (including time-correlated single photon counting measurements, PLQY, time-resolved and steady-state PL, ultrafast transient absorption and multi-photon absorption spectroscopy). Dr. Makarov is highly experienced with photoluminescence experiments, with numerous peer-reviewed publications, where he has studied the emission properties of QD solutions and thin films as well as nanocomposites.
Dr. Daniel Houck is the Director of Chemical Engineering at UbiQD. He earned his bachelors of science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin—studying under Prof. Brian Korgel—for his dissertation titled “CuInSe2 Nanocrystal Photovoltaics: Device Physics, Defects, and Ligand Chemistry”. Dr. Houck has authored numerous publications regarding ternary chalcogenide nanocrystal synthesis, characterization, and their applications in photovoltaic devices. He has also worked closely with several industrial partners through NSF’s Industry–University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) for Next Generation Photovoltaics.
Damon Hebert has been a Senior Scientist at UbiQD since 2018. He brings to the company a wide range of experience in agriculture, materials science, spectroscopy, and small business. During his time in Prof. Angus Rockett's research group at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Hebert authored a doctoral thesis and multiple papers on the materials science of CIGS semiconductor materials, which is closely related to the materials developed at UbiQD. He also served as a consultant to Nanosolar, a CIGS nanocrystal solar cell manufacturing company. Hebert has ag industry experience having co-founded Dr. Jolly's, a leading cultivation and distribution operation in Bend, OR. He received a Bachelor’s in Physics from Macalester College, and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from UIUC.
Chloe Castaneda is an R&D Chemist, and has a wide range of experiences and education in solid-state physics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, nanotechnology, materials, and electronics during her time at Mount Holyoke College. More recently, she worked on quantum dot surface chemistry with Matt Beard and Art Nozik at the National Renewable Energy Laboraotory (NREL). Castaneda also has industry experience having worked at Asylum Research on microscopy products, and as grant-writing team lead for OUR&D. She received a Bachelor’s in Physics from Mount Holyoke College.
Andres Velarde is an R&D Chemist, and has a wide range of experiences and education in microelectronics, nanotechnology, materials, and polymer chemistry during his time in Prof. John Rogers' research group at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Velarde also has industry experience having worked at NeuroLux, a spinoff of UIUC focused on developing implantable optogenetics medical research products. He received a Bachelor’s in Materials Science and Engineering from UIUC.
A systems thinker, Emily drives the development of consumer-facing products with skills in design manufacturing, and prototyping.
Prior to joining UbiQD in 2018, Emily managed an interdisciplinary team of undergrad and graduate students through the research, product design, and business plan development of award-winning solar windows at Western Washington University. With three internships under her belt, including working with an architecture firm on hyper energy-efficient laboratories and designing future-forward micro-appliances at a startup in Seattle, she veered from a more traditional path after graduation and set off to explore the world by bicycle. Through volunteer work and befriending locals, this journey ignited a burning passion for making sustainability a non-question for communities around the world.
Emily always has a new adventure in the works, and when not in the office can be found learning a new language, throwing pottery, or on a never-ending mission to find the best view in town.