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Nanosys gains US environmental approval for quantum dots

First quantum dot maker to complete EPA's New Chemicals Program review process

Nanosys has become the first quantum dot manufacturer to complete the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) New Chemicals Program review process for its quantum dot materials and components.

Until now, all quantum dot manufacturers in the US have manufactured materials under the EPA's Low Volume Exemption (LVE) rule. This rule was designed to enable pilot manufacturing of new materials under certain conditions with strict controls from the EPA. With this production milestone Nanosys says it has become the only quantum dot manufacturer with EPA approval to manufacture or import more than 10,000 kilograms of quantum dots in the US.

"After the conclusion of a comprehensive environmental risk analysis process, the EPA has given Nanosys the green light to continue ramping its manufacture of Quantum Dots on a full commercial scale," said Jason Hartlove, CEO of Nanosys, which is based in Milpitas, California. "This further establishes Nanosys' leadership position in the industry and is another significant milestone in strengthening the supply chain and facilitating further adoption of Quantum Dot technology for displays." 

EPA's New Chemicals Program is designed to minimise potential risks to human health and the environment from new chemicals sold on the market. Anyone who plans to manufacture or import a new chemical for commercial purposes is required, under section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), to provide the EPA with advance notice before beginning the activity.

The EPA New Chemical review process starts with a Premanufacture Notice, or PMN, which must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the manufacture or import of the chemical. Upon submission of a PMN the EPA conducts a thorough review of the chemical to determine if it poses any unreasonable risk and whether or how that risk may be controlled. EPA toxicologists, chemists, biochemists, engineers, and experts in other disciplines work together to conduct a thorough review, predicting the potential risks to humans or the environment from each new substance.

If no unreasonable risks are found during the EPA's evaluation, the company may submit a Notice of Commencement (NOC) to list their chemical with the EPA and begin manufacturing. Nanosys submitted a Notice of Commencement (NOC) to the EPA on May 28, 2015, which formally established Nanosys quantum dots as an Existing Chemical, listed under EPA guidelines.

Samsung investment 

Nanosys has also announced investment from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), the venture capital arm of the Samsung Group. This is the follow-on to a 2010 investment; the new funds will be used to expand production capacity as demand for Nanosys technology for displays grows rapidly.

"Our investment in Nanosys is consistent with our strategy to work closely with established market leaders." says Michael Pachos, director at SVIC. "Nanosys is a technology leader and has built a significant business in the space. The company has demonstrated both a technical and business vision in driving adoption of their products and we look forward to contributing to the progress of Nanosys."

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