Success Story

Better, Brighter and More Energy Efficient Displays

Widespread use of devices with electronic displays – from tablets and smartphones to laptops and high definition (HD) televisions – means increased energy usage. More energy efficient displays with uncompromised color accuracy and brightness are needed.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discovered that quantum dot crystals of different sizes could be made to emit multiple colors of light. With further research, LBNL scientists learned to manipulate nanocrystals forming shapes with improved optical qualities. The technology opened new possibilities for companies developing brighter displays for HDTVs, smart phones and tablet computers while keeping a watchful eye on energy efficiency.

LBNL’s quantum dot technology portfolio, a breakthrough in nanoscience, was licensed by startup Nanosys Inc. for use in electronic displays. Nanosys then partnered with LG Innotek and 3M to develop a superior, energy efficient product. First announced in 2011, the company’s Quantum Dot Enhancement Film™ (QDEF) technology, an engineered sheet containing quantum dots, offers 50% wider color spectrum compared with a standard liquid crystal display (LCD). Yet, its price is comparable to LCDs without requiring additional power. QDEF is being demonstrated in new HDTVs at electronic shows worldwide and is the source of the Kindle Fire HDX7’s high color accuracy display. In 2014, Asus announced QDEF would be used in its new NX500 Notebook PC. Nanosys’ Milpitas, Calif. plant is capable of producing enough quantum dots to build five million big-screen TVs annually. Earlier this year, the company announced LMS Co., Ltd. as the second major supplier of optical films based on QDEF. LMS will use the technology for its new Quantum Light Accumulation Sheet (QLAS) to improve brightness and vibrancy for LCDs.