Quantum dots can make TVs and smartphones brighter, lighter
Scientists have developed a process which could lead to a new generation of high-definition (HD) technology, paving the way for brighter, lighter and more energy efficient TVs and smart devices. The findings, published in the journal Science Advances, reveal that when quantum dots – tiny flecks of semiconductor that are prized for their crisp colours – are clustered together they are more fluorescent, providing a wide variety of colours. Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast in the UK created quantum dots containing methylammonium lead bromine (MAPbBr3). They found that by creating lamellar structures – fine layers, alternating between different materials – the human eye’s response to the visible light was very high. This means that the material re-emitted a lot of the light than it absorbed and very bright colours were created. The team has named this process aggregation-induced emission (AIE). “Through this discovery, we anticipate that the number of colours a display can present can be increased more than 50 per cent,” said Elton Santos from Queen’s University. “In practice, this means that we may have a new type of high-definition because of the number of colour combinations that the material can display. Therefore, the next HD generation is just as close as three to four years away,” said Santos. The AIE process can revolutionise the quality of the colours in TVs because the base colours are red, blue and green, said Professor Chih-Jen Shih who created the quantum dots and led the investigation at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. “Using AIE we can create the brightest green colour ever achieved by any nanomaterial,” Santos said. “Once this bright green is integrated with the other two colours, the number of new colour combinations could exceed what is currently possible,” he said. The latest QD technology, which is just about to be released to market, allows for one billion colours, which is 64 times more than the average TV. “However, using the process we have discovered, we can actually make this even better,” Santos said.