A team of University of California scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed the first completely inorganic, multi-color light-emitting diodes (LEDs) based on colloidal quantum dots encapsulated in a gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor. The work represents a new "hybrid" approach to the development of solid-state lighting. Solid-state lighting offers the advantages of reduced operating expenses, lower energy consumption and more reliable performance.
In research published in the current issue of the scientific journal Nano Letters, the team reports on the first successful demonstration of electroluminescence from an all-inorganic, nanocrystal-based architecture where semiconductor nanocrystals are incorporated into a p-n junction formed from semiconducting GaN injection layers. The new LEDs utilize a novel type of color-selectable nanoemitters, colloidal quantum dots, and makes use of emerging GaN manufacturing technologies.
According to Klimov, who leads the nanocrystal-LED research effort, "numerous technologies could benefit from energy efficient, color-selectable solid-state lighting sources ranging from automotive and aircraft instrument displays to traffic signals and computer displays. Semiconductor nanocrystals, known also as quantum dots, are attractive nanoscale light emitters that combine size-controlled emission colors and high emission efficiencies with chemical flexibility and excellent photostability. The use of nanocrystals in light-emitting technologies has, however, always been hindered by the difficulty of making direct electrical connections to the nanocrystals. By putting the quantum dots between GaN injection layers, we’ve gotten around this difficulty."
Todd Hanson | EurekAlert!
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