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Enhancing Quantum Dots for Displays and Lighting

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 02:13PM

An easy way to conserve power on a laptop, tablet, or phone is to turn down the display brightness, as that is one of the primary energy users in these devices. Naturally then, a lot of work is being done to develop displays that are brighter while using the same amount of power. Quantum dots may enable the desired solutions, and now researchers at the University of Illinois have found a way to improve their performance as well.

Quantum dots are nanoscale, semiconductor crystals that can have their optical properties tuned. This capability makes it possible to design the crystals to emit light of specific colors, and so they already being used to enhance some displays. Unfortunately they are not always that bright and can be expensive to produce. What the Illinois researchers have done is add a layer of photonic crystals to the mix. These crystals focus the light from the dots in one direction, doubling their brightness.

To test this discovery, the researchers built a device just one millimeter tall that contains thousands of the quantum dots, with photonic crystals enhancing them. While the device they made was small, it is possible to scale the fabrication process up to create large, flexible plastic sheets, which will prove useful for displays and LED lighting.

Source: University of Illinois

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