Jeff Yurek, Nanosys Director of Marketing at SID DisplayWeek 2018 in Los Angeles talks about the Quantum Dots which Nanosys has been developing since its founding in 2001. Jeff walks me through the company’s technology roadmap to explain how Quantum Dots can be used in displays of all types from LCDs to OLEDs to microLEDs and even emissive Quantum Dot displays of the future.
Quantum dots are tiny man-made crystals. They are so small that you can’t see them with a typical microscope. In fact, they’re 10,000 times narrower than a human hair. Quantum dots are actually very powerful devices and it’s their size that gives them a unique ability: to convert light into nearly any color in the visible spectrum with very high efficiency.
Each quantum dot is actually a tiny semiconductor — which means it can convert incoming energy. The electronic characteristics of quantum dots are determined by their size and shape. This means they can control the color of light given off by a quantum dot just by changing its size. Bigger dots emit longer wavelengths like red, while smaller dots emit shorter wavelengths like green. Think of a guitar string. When a guitar string is shortened, it produces a higher pitch and when it is lengthened, it creates a lower pitch. The tune of a quantum dot – the wavelength of the light it emits – behaves in a similar way.
Today, Quantum Dot displays are built just like LED displays. The quantum dots are added to the backlight of the display in the form of a translucent plastic film that’s loaded with dots. Each TV contains literally trillions of Quantum Dots. In this mode, the Quantum Dots are improving existing LED displays by enabling them to be more power efficient and deliver better color.
The film itself is made using a roll-to-roll coating process. Nanosys manufactures Quantum Dots in Silicon Valley, California and partners with companies like Hitachi Chemical to create Quantum Dot films used by display makers.
Unlike OLED materials, Quantum Dots are inorganic. This means they’re really stable and can be handled more easily in manufacturing. That makes for a tougher, longer lasting display that doesn’t exhibit burn-in issues.
According to Nanosys, Quantum Dot technology is not limited to LCDs. It can improve displays of all types from LCDs to OLEDs to microLEDs to pure, emissive QDEL displays.
Dr. Charlie Hotz, Nanosys Vice President of R&D, Quantum Dots lecture at SID Display Week 2018: