What Are Quantum Dots?

Maybe I should ask, what are quantum dots, and why should we care that they are in our televisions? I am assuming you have seen the numerous ads referring to quantum dots. Certainly, quantum dots sound like something from science fiction or fancy marketing, but they are quite real and beneficial to displays.

What are quantum dots?

The simple answer is: quantum dots are nanoparticles that convert light from one color to another, ie from one frequency to another.

Why are quantum dots important?

Again the simple answer, quantum dots are important because some colors of light are easier to produce than others. Using quantum dots, the light from efficient and reliable light sources can be converted to the other colors needed for displays, ie TVs.

So, for example, a TV manufacturer might use a blue LED backlight with a QD (quantum dot) film in front of this to produce red and green light before it is passed through the LCD and color filters of the front of the display.

quantum dots
Quantum dots glowing under ultra-violet light

The benefits of quantum dots

The various benefits of quantum dots include:

  • Lowering display costs
  • Improved colors in displays
  • Reduced power needed

More details about quantum dots

I recall various companies promoting the use of quantum dots in prototype displays at DisplayWeek some years ago, exhorting visitors to check their stunning reds. Anyone can join the Society of Information Display (SID), and being a member and attending their various functions is an excellent way of seeing emerging display technologies, sometimes long before they get to market.

Types of Quantum dot:

  • Chalcogenide quantum dots. The color of the light emitted is changed by varying the size of the particle.
  • Perovskite quantum dots. With perovskites, the color of the light emitted is by changing the composition of the quantum dot.
  • Graphene quantum dots. Being used for white light LEDs, these also provide the benefits of low toxicity and high stability.

SID – Society for Information Display

If you are interested in display technology a very good place to start is https://www.sid.org/