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'Smart window' maker Soladigm to build factory

Soladigm, which adds thin films to glass to block light and heat, plans a manufacturing plant in Mississippi to make its green building gear.

Soladigm, a start-up that makes windows that can adjust to block light and heat, plans to build a factory in Mississippi.

The company, which is bankrolled by Khosla Ventures and Sigma Partners, will make electrochromatic windows at the plant which will employ about 100 people in Olive Branch, Miss. in two years.


The three-year-old company has developed a material that is coated onto glass to block out light and heat, an effective way of insulating and reducing a building's energy load.

"The product is dynamic glass--it's like sunglasses that transition based on light," CEO and semiconductor industry veteran Rao Mulpur told the San Jose Mercury News. "We can change the tint from clear to dark on demand. We can control how the glass changes based on light, temperature, and time of year."

That area of Mississippi has a manufacturing culture and is close to Memphis, which allows for efficient shipping of its products, he said. The company, which was lured by $40 million in state incentives, is expecting to raise $130 million from private sources, the CEO told Earth2Tech.

Automatically tinted glass products have been under development for years but are not widely used. Soladigm is using a different thin-film material to coat glasses which is more effective at blocking out heat than other materials, according to a patent from Soladigm uncovered by Nano Patents and Innovations.

According to the patent, the company's electrochromatic glass uses alloys that use antimony or other base metals or lithium alloys.