Think Small: Quantum Dots are the Key to Better, Brighter Displays


Quantum dots are really cool, really tiny and have the potential to revolutionize any device with a display.

This is just one reason why the Global Quantum Dots Market is growing at a CAGR of nearly 70 percent from 2013 to 2018, a number TechNavio analysts are calling unprecedented. The sheer amount of research being done into these barely-there particles is staggering, and these little guys have applications across the board, from biology to photonics.

But with rumours circulating that Apple is going to be using them for it’s new, larger iPhone 6 display, these tiny dots have taken a big step into the spotlight.

What are Quantum Dots, and How do They Work?

Quantum dots are nanoparticles (or nanocrystals) of semiconductor materials, which can be between two to 10 nanometers in diameter. That’s about the width of 50 atoms.

Anything this small tends to take a step outside normal physics and starts displaying quantum properties. True to form, quantum dots exhibit some truly interesting and unique optical properties—for example, the colour they emit is based on the size of the dot, not the material it’s made from. According to a backgrounder from Nanoco Group Plc, a major market player, “the smaller the dot, the closer it is to the blue end of the spectrum, and the larger the dot, the closer to the red end. Dots can even be tuned beyond visible light, into the infra-red or into the ultra-violet”.

Manufacturers are able to precisely control the size of the dots and thereby fine tune the exact color that appears.

This huge colour gamut means better colour accuracy and impressive saturation, which translates into better displays. But not to worry, these beautiful new displays won’t suck your battery life. In fact, quantum dot displays might actually save power, offering another major benefit to consumers.

TechNavio analysts have high hopes for the market saying, “the high optical efficiency of quantum dots is likely to surpass the quality delivered by OLED technology. As a result, quantum dots are considered to be a key element for developing next-generation displays.”

High cost of materials has been cited as a potential hurdle for the industry, and one that may make some vendors reconsider before jumping in. However, given the number of researchers and manufacturers looking into commercial uses for the technology, high cost isn’t likely to be an issue for long.

In fact, according to Nanoco Group, even a small amount of quantum dots can have industrial uses.

They say on their website that, “the ability to mass-produce consistently high quality quantum dots enables product designers to envisage their use in consumer products and a wide range of other applications for the first time, and then bring these superior, next-generation products to market.”

And the applications for quantum dots extend far beyond better displays for our mobile devices. Some areas of interest for these peculiar nanoparticles include optics, optoelectronics, quantum computing, information storage, cascaded lasers, injection lasers, color-coded quantum dots for DNA testing, photo detection, bio-imaging and 3D imaging, sensors, flash memory, lighting, displays, solar panels, and security deterrents.

In short, these tiny particles will continue driving huge growth in the market for the forecast period, and it’s not all that hard to see why.

To get more insights into this exciting market, view our Global Quantum Dots Market Report.

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