Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The grass really is greener on TV and computer screens, thanks to quantum dots

11.08.2014

High-tech specks called quantum dots could bring brighter, more vibrant color to mass market TVs, tablets, phones and other displays. Today, a scientist will describe a new technology called 3M quantum dot enhancement film (QDEF) that efficiently makes liquid crystal display (LCD) screens more richly colored.

His talk will be one of nearly 12,000 presentations at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, taking place here through Thursday.


Quantum dots make greens and reds pop on screens (left) compared with other types of displays (right).

Credit: 3M

"Green grass just pops out at you from these displays," says Eric Nelson, Ph.D., who helped create the plastic films that hold the quantum dots in a screen. "We believe this is the most efficient way to get to a high-color display."

That's because quantum dot, or "QD," displays need less energy compared to other high-color options. QDs are superconducting crystals so small that 10,000 could fit across the width of a human hair.

... more about:
»LCD »QDs »break »diodes »grass »plastic »quantum dots »specific

Almost all electronics sold today, from TVs to smartphones, use LCDs. A typical LCD works by shining white light through a series of fliters that produce the colors the viewer sees. To achieve the best color, these filters need to be fairly dark. However, it takes a lot of energy to make the light bright enough for the viewer's eye. The other problem, says Nelson, who is at the 3M Company, is that "you always tend to leak a bit of green into red, and blue into green, and so forth. So instead of ending up with a very pure red, you end up with an orange-y color. It's difficult to get roses or apples to look very red on a conventional LCD."

Rather than filtering light, QDs change it into a different color. The dots — made for 3M by Nanosys, Inc. — produce specific colors of light based on how big they are. In 3M QDEF displays, the LCD's white backlight is replaced with a blue one, and a sheet of plastic embedded with QDs that produce red and green light is placed over it. The display combines these three colors to produce all the colors the viewer sees.

One drawback of the dots is that they break down quickly when exposed to water and oxygen in the air. To address this challenge, Nelson helped create the plastic sheathing that protects them. They sandwiched the QDs between two polymer films, with the QDs embedded in an epoxy glue. "The polymer/quantum dot sandwich looks like a piece of plastic film," says Nelson. Coatings on the film provide further protection and enhance the viewing experience.

Nelson also will describe the environmental advantages of the technology. Because the QDEF displays need less light, they consume less electricity and help device batteries last longer than other high-color solutions. He says 3M's tests have shown that the dots' heavy metals — many of which are already found in today's electronics — are entirely sealed inside the film. That means they won't leach out during the products' lifetime or as they languish in landfills if the displays aren't recycled.

3M hopes QDEF technology will compete well with more costly displays like those that use organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Nelson explains that OLEDs produce similarly brilliant colors to the QDEF displays, but they use individual lights to make different colors. The drawback to OLEDs is that they are much more costly to manufacture.

Although QDEF displays are more expensive than conventional low-color LCDs, Nelson says the cost will come down as the technology becomes more widespread and as manufacturing costs come down with increased production scale. Several devices featuring QDEF are already on the market, and more are on the way.

Michael Bernstein | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: LCD QDs break diodes grass plastic quantum dots specific

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein
24.01.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

nachricht Choreographing the microRNA-target dance
24.01.2017 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>