QD Vision and LG Display have just announced a joint development agreement focusing on electroluminescent quantum dot LED (QLED) nanotechnology, which promises to sweep all display technologies before it, including OLED. QLED promises energy efficient displays that offer brighter, richer colors, can be printed on ultra-thin, transparent or flexible substrates and manufactured cheaply.
A printable electroluminescent platform based on quantum dot technology from QD Vision could enable new general-illumination and pixelated-display products. OLED, as an industry, is looking at a $1 billion market this year. QD Vision is several years away from commercial EL products. The company did demonstrate a 4-inch-diagonal monochrome display at the SID conference this year. But the company needs to add more partners to the QLED ecosystem and further refine the efficiency of the emissive material before commercial products debut.
QD Vision has been more publicly focused on photoluminescence (PL) or optical stimulation of its quantum dots in LED-based solid-state-lighting (SSL) applications, the company is also working on electroluminescence (EL) or electrically-stimulated applications. The company is partnering with plastics and chemistry specialist Solvay to develop a printable platform for EL display and general illumination applications.
QD calls the EL concept a quantum dot LED (QLED), and the similarity to the organic light-emitting diode acronym (OLED) is probably no coincidence. Long term, QD Vision believes that quantum dots make a better choice in planar lighting than the organic emissive material in OLEDs – in terms of better light output, a richer color gamut, and a simpler manufacturing process.
QD Vision is in the earliest of stages of commercial products based on quantum dots. The company is supplying the technology to Nexxus Lighting for use in an LED retrofit light bulb. But the company has been working on EL applications behind the scenes primarily driven by government contracts.
Current printable saturated QLEDs essentially match or exceed NTSC color standards for displays without the need for color filters. Also, because current OLED displays require lossy color filtering to achieve the same color performance.
* Pure color — Will deliver 30-40% luminance efficiency advantage over organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) at the same color point.
* Low power consumption — QLEDs have the potential to be more than twice as power efficient as OLEDs at the same color purity.
* Low-cost manufacture — The ability to print large-area QLEDs on ultra-thin flexible substrates will reduce luminaire manufacturing cost.
* Ultrathin, transparent, flexible form factors — QLEDs will enable designers to develop new display and lighting forms not possible with existing technologies.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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