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Quantum Dots Give LCD Makers the Edge

Photonics Spectra
May 2018
MICHAEL D. WHEELER, MANAGING EDITOR, michael.wheeler@photonics.com They’re tiny inorganic semiconductor particles 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Yet, because of the unique combination of efficiency and narrow emission profiles, quantum dots are having an outsize impact on the consumer display market, posing a formidable rival to OLED technology.

Unlike other down-converting materials, such as phosphors, quantum dots have a unique capacity to efficiently absorb high-energy blue light and re-emit that light at longer wavelengths, such as green and red. In quantum dot-enabled displays — marketed as QLED technology — green and red dots are mixed together in a polymer to create high-quality red, green, and blue light when stimulated by a blue LED. And the results are stunning, with more efficient, vibrant, and brighter displays. Don’t miss this month’s cover story, “Quantum Dots: Taking the Display World by Storm,” by Peter Palomaki (read article).

In honor of the Society for Information Display’s annual conference in Los Angeles this month, we included a second imaging-themed feature, “Optical Mapping Delivers Realistic, 3D Images for AR,” by Liang Gao from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Despite the impressive functionality of a number of virtual and augmented reality devices from tech giants and startups alike, a formidable problem remains: Few of these devices put wearability and human perception at the center of hardware design. Gao presents a new approach that divides the screen display into different subpanels and then optically maps them to various depths, creating a multiplane volumetric image (read article).

Elsewhere in the magazine:

• The astronomical community was one of first to recognize the clarifying power of adaptive optics (AO) and it remains the biggest proponent of new advances in the field. As we learn in “Adaptive Optics Look Farther Than Ever Before,” from Contributing Editor Marie Freebody, emerging uses for AO systems include ophthalmology and deep-tissue imaging (read article).

• Recent advances in nonaccelerator techniques have led to commercially available sources of extreme UV radiation. See “Extreme UV Sources Fill the Gap,” from Faiz Rahman of Ohio University (read article).

• While graphene is often the focus of much research and development in two-dimensional (2D) material, it’s only one of as many as a thousand stable 2D materials that could one day transform the fields of quantum information processing, multispectral imaging, and others. See Contributing Editor Hank Hogan’s “Thinnest of Materials Loom Large,” (read article).

Enjoy the issue!

GLOSSARY
quantum dots
Also known as QDs. Nanocrystals of semiconductor materials that fluoresce when excited by external light sources, primarily in narrow visible and near-infrared regions; they are commonly used as alternatives to organic dyes.
EditorialMike Wheelerquantum dots

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