The unique properties of quantum dot are helping to drive interest from display manufacturers.
“Quantum dot technology could improve liquid crystal display (LCD) dramatically in terms of color gamut, color accuracy and reducing power consumption,” added Dr. Jennifer Colegrove, CEO and principal analyst at Touch Display Research Inc.
“Compared with bulk materials, they have unique electrical and optical characteristics that can emit light of specific colors depending on the exact composition and size of the QD,” said Dr. Tony Sun, analyst at Lux Research.
Jeff Yurek, corporate communications manager for Nanosys, noted that Nanosys has more than 20 products in the market from top brands like Samsung, Sharp, Vizio, TCL, Hisense and ASUS, and estimated that well over a million devices with quantum dots shipped in 2015.
“We realized that the unique characteristics of quantum dots – like high brightness, pure color and wavelength tenability – would enable display designers to custom engineer a spectrum of light to maximize both the efficiency and color performance of any display for an incredible new user experience,” said Yurek. “We see quantum dots as the key enabling technology for UltraHD TV.”
John Volkmann, QD Vision’s chief marketing officer, noted that QD Vision partnered with Sony on the Sony Bravia in 2013.
“Since then, almost every major television manufacturer has launched QD-based televisions,” Volkmann added. “Industry analysts forecast over 50% of the televisions and monitors in the world will be based on QDs by 2025.”
Advantages of Quantum Dots
There are numerous advantages to quantum dots, beginning with its efficiency.
“QD’s major value is high efficiency in converting short-wavelength light (blue) into long-wavelength (green and red) and the converted light is high purity (narrow bandwidth),” Dr. Sun said. “This makes QD a good candidate for various applications that need light-conversion.”
“Quantum dots are a really unique material,” Yurek added. “They are the world’s most efficient light emitting material, converting and giving off light with essentially 100% energy efficiency. This has huge advantages for displays where every little bit of efficiency matters. For example, when you look at all of the latest “must-have” features for UltraHD displays like 4K resolution, High Dynamic Range (HDR), wide color gamut, etc. All of these features require more power and it becomes really challenging to engineer all of them into one system.
“Quantum dots really enable display makers to deliver on all three of these new UltraHD features,” added Yurek. “For example, if you look at Samsung’s SUHD Quantum Dot TVs they were able to deliver 4K resolution, super bright 1,000 nit peak luminance HDR, and wide color gamut. All in a super slim TV with low power consumption. This kind of breakthrough product is tough to imagine without the incredible power efficiency and color performance of quantum dots.
“Another big advantage is stability. Unlike OLED materials, quantum dots are inorganic,” Yurek noted. “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.”
“Quantum dots provide two main advantages over other downconversion or backlighting display technology,” said Volkmann. “The first is spectrally narrow emission, on the order of 25 nm at full-width half-maximum (FWHM). This is similar to the emission linewidths of LEDs and much narrower than organic materials and phosphors. The spectral width being 25 nm is just narrow enough to enable nearly visually indistinguishable color gamut from laser displays, but wide enough to avoid problems like speckle. The second advantage of QDs is tunable emission. By changing the diameter of the quantum dot, the peak emission wavelength can be tuned across the visible spectrum to within a tolerance of +/- 1 nm. No other emissive material set can claim this level of tunability and precision. Tuning the peak wavelength of the QDs enables multiple benefits including higher system efficiencies, LCD panel supply chain flexibility, and reduction of observer metamerism effects.”
Printing monitors and displays featuring quantum dots is another benefit. Quantum Materials Corp is usingh inkjet to produce its materials. The company is setting up locally based manufacturing, partnering with Guanghui Technology Group in China.
“Inkjet printing has been implemented for printing QDs to fabricate OLED employing QDs,” said Stephen Squires, Quantum Materials Corp’s CEO.
Squires said that the biggest area for advancement will be fulfilling the needs and demands of industry for the tonnage of quantum dots that will be needed for all the products companies want to manufacture.
“Most companies have problems scaling production, and are limited in both materials and processes that they can use,” said Squires. “We see client-side QD manufacturing as an important trend driving QD integration and resultant market growth. One of the advantages of QMC’s QD production process is the ability to build and locate high-volume small-footprint QD manufacturing installations close to client factory locations.”
“Our ability to quickly scale production capabilities with more throughput and efficiency allows Quantum Materials to offer a reliable production program of a variety of uniform quantum dots, metal oxide and catalyst materials,” David Doderer, VP R&D, Quantum Materials Corp, added. “This is exciting because it means the uses for quantum dots can expand in all directions and paths without limitations in production output.”
Quantum dots are likely to emerge as a leading technology for displays in the years to come.
“Quantum dot technology could improve liquid crystal display (LCD) dramatically in terms of color gamut, color accuracy, and reducing power consumption. This is one of the biggest breakthrough technologies for LCD in recent several years. Cadmium-free quantum dot is entering the market in 2015,” Dr. Colegrove concluded. “We forecast quantum dot components will have a rapid penetration into displays and lighting from 2015 to 2025.”