The Nanosys view on the state of electroluminescent quantum dots

June 20, 2019 //By Chris Chinnock
quantum dots
Quantum Dots are amazing particles. They can emit light when pumped with higher energy light (photoluminescent). They can emit electrons when pumped with light (photoelectric) and they can emit light when pumped with electrons (electroluminescent). I want to talk about this latter use, ELQDs, in this article.

Many Universities and display companies are working on ELQDs as a next generation emissive display technology. They hold great potential for bright, high contrast, wide color gamut displays. But to be successful, they will need to reach mass production with cost and performance levels that can rival competing technologies. And the competition seems to keep growing and evolving, so the benchmark keeps moving forward.

So what is the state of the art and what are the prospects for success? At SID DisplayWeek 2019 there were many papers on advancements in materials and device structures for ELQDs. I won’t try to summarize all those papers, but instead will focus on one paper given by QD developer Nanosys and R&D device fabrication partner, LG Display’s R&D Center. 

I also spoke with Nanosys CEO Jason Hartlove to get more up-to-date results and his prognosis for commercialization. (Hartlove is also discussing how quantum dots are a key component for 8K displays at the 8K Display Summit.

To begin, there are two camps of development: Cadmium-based and Cadmium-free. The Cd-based development is primarily coming from Chinese players and the Cd-free from everyone else. This mirrors the photoluminescent quantum dot arena with many major companies and countries having overt policies to not include heavy metals in finished products. That conviction is not so strong in China.

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