Dr. Corey Thompson is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer for WattGlass, an Arkansas-based startup company developing technology that makes glass self-cleaning, highly transparent and anti-reflective.
WattGlass recently received a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to further develop its nano-particle coating for glass.
The Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant will be used to scale up the product, making it a more viable technology, according to the University of Arkansas.
“Right now, we’re dipping microscope slides into the coating liquid, but the main goal with this grant is to show that we can do the same thing on a larger scale with standard commercial coating equipment,” Thompson said.
The project also aims to prove the product is durable when exposed to heat, dust, dirt and other desert elements, he said. If both objectives are successful, the company will be able to apply for Phase II funding of up to $750,000.
Thompson said the grant will enable him to continue his research in Arkansas, create a new Ph.D. position and hire another Ph.D. assistant. Thompson is an alumni of the University of Arkansas’s microelectronics-photonics doctoral program.
WattGlass, based at the Arkansas Research & Technology Park, was founded in 2014 and received seed capital from the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority’s Technology Development Program and local angel investors. The initial research for the product was funded through the National Science Foundation, the Vertically-Integrated Center for Transformative Energy Research and the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority.