SunDensity’s Photonic Smart Coating Technology Takes Top Prize at Luminate NY’s Finals Competition

Via Photonics Media
September 15, 2020

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 15, 2020 — SunDensity, a developer of photonic smart coatings (PSC) technology, has earned $1 million in funding as the winner of the third cohort of the Luminate NY Program’s Innovation Finals Competition. All Luminate third-cohort winners, highlighted by program winner and Luminate “Company of the Year” SunDensity, were announced during the accelerator’s virtual finals competition on the first day of The Optical Society’s (OSA) Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science Conference (FiO + LS).

New York state, through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative, will provide the $1 million award. SunDensity, which formed in Boston, will locate its operations and manufacturing in Rochester, N.Y.

SunDensity President and CEO Nishikant “Nish” Sonwalkar pitched and outlined his company’s program-winning technology as part of Monday’s finals session. The PSC reacts to incoming photons and shapes the outgoing photons to maximize their amenability to optoelectronic devices, such as solar cells. SunDensity’s PSC contains multiple nano-optical layers that selectively downshift ultraviolet photons into the infrared, creating a quantum match and generating a higher number of electrons.

“Our company is on a mission to make solar power have parity with the electricity grid, which will accelerate clean energy adoption,” Sonwalkar said. When applied to solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, the coating increases clean energy production, significantly reducing carbon emissions.

In addition to increasing panel output, and unlike conventional antireflection (AR) coatings, SunDensity’s PSC also decreases the levelized cost of energy (LCOE).

The company’s PSC can also be applied to glass surfaces such as architectural windows and digital imaging platforms such as night vision cameras and CCDs. Nano-optical smart coating supports “smart window” technology, which can retain thermal energy when desirable and also let heat escape.

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