Quantum Dots / NanoLED Is the Next-Generation Display Technology

[…] Nanosys, a company whose quantum dot technology¬†is in millions of TVs, offered to show me a top-secret prototype of a next-generation display. Not just any next-gen display, but one I’ve been writing about for years and which has the potential to dethrone OLED as the king of displays.

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Electroluminescent quantum dots. These are even more advanced than the quantum dots found in the TVs of today. They could possibly replace LCD and OLED for phones and TVs. They have the potential of improved picture quality, energy savings and manufacturing efficiency. A simpler structure makes these displays theoretically so easy to produce, they could usher in a sci-fi world of inexpensive screens on everything from eyeglasses to windscreens and windows.

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Quantum dots are tiny particles that when supplied with energy emit specific wavelengths of light. Different size quantum dots emit different wavelengths. Or to put it another way, some dots emit red light, others green, and others still, blue.

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For the last few years, quantum dots have been used by TV manufacturers to boost the brightness and color of LCD TVs. The “Q” in QLED TV stands for “quantum.”

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More recently, Samsung combined quantum dots with the incredible contrast ratios of OLED. Their (and partner Sony’s) QD-OLED TVs have some of the best image quality of any TV ever.

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The quantum dots used in display tech up to this point are what’s called “photoluminescent.” They absorb light, then emit light.

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The prototype I saw was completely different. No traditional LEDs and no OLED. Instead of using light to excite quantum dots into emitting light, it uses electricity. Nothing but quantum dots. Electroluminescent, aka direct-view, quantum dots.

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Theoretically, this will mean thinner, more energy-efficient displays. It means displays that can be easier, as in cheaper, to manufacture.

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Nanosys calls this direct-view, electroluminescent quantum dot tech “nanoLED”

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Having what amounts to a simpler display structure, you can incorporate QD-based displays in a wider variety of situations. Or more specifically, on a wider variety of surfaces. Essentially, you can print an entire QD display onto a surface without the heat required by other “printable” tech.

What does this mean? Just about any flat or curved surface could be a screen

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For instance, you could incorporate a screen onto the windshield of a car for a more elaborate, high-resolution, easy-to-see, heads-up display. Speed and navigation directions for sure, but how about augmented reality for safer nighttime driving with QD-display-enhanced lane markers and street signs?

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AR glasses have been a thing, but they’re bulky, low resolution and, to be perfectly honest, lame. A QD display could be printed on the lenses themselves, requiring less elaborate electronics in the frames.

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I think an obvious early use, despite how annoying it could be, would be bus or subway windows. These will initially be pitched by cities as a way to show people important info, but inevitably they’ll be used for advertising. That’s certainly not a knock against the tech, just how things work in the world.

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5-10 years from now we’ll almost certainly have options for QD displays in our phones, probably in our living rooms, and possibly on our windshields and windows

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Source: This Next-Generation Display Technology Is Going to Change the World – CNET

Robin Edgar

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