Voxtel Inc.

Voxtel Inc., a Beaverton company that provides optoelectronic devices using novel semiconductor architectures and engineered nanostructured materials. In business for ten years, the company also is a leading developer of sophisticated detectors and electro-optical imaging systems for a wide range of government, industrial and scientific markets. They have also recently developed a new manufacturing process that promises to significantly decrease the cost of semiconducting quantum dots.

Quantum dots are tiny crystals so small that even scientists call them "dots." They gather light so efficiently they could potentially replace large solar panels with something you could carry. These dots are only one-ten thousandth the width of a human hair and may one day power video displays, replace fluorescent lighting, improve night vision goggles and be used in medical research—or maybe even replace the camera in your cellphone.

The quantum dot research took place at the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute's (ONAMI's) Lokey Laboratory at the University of Oregon in Eugene. ONAMI is the first Oregon Signature Research Center. ONAMI is an initiative of the Oregon Innovation Council, creating new jobs and industries by partnering private industry with Oregon's research universities. Work at Lokey Lab helped Voxtel to develop a method that lowers the cost of the dots from $5,000 to $10 per gram.

The company, which employs about 20 people, got its start with a federal small business innovation grant. The company operates on a combination of its own profits and government contracts, which has insulated it from the recession. Of the $7 million in federal research money the company receives each year, $6 million if funded by the military.