Quantum Dot Technology Set to Breath New Life into LCD Display

LCD display has been around for sometimes by now and their shines are no longer that enticing as compared to before. Likewise, both display manufacturers and consumers do not really expect any surprise or advancement in terms of technology. Instead, everyone seems to be busy with driving out highest resolution possible for existing LCD display. Or at least that the way it is before recent updates from 3M and Nanosys which teams up to breath new life into LCD display by leveraging on quantum dot technology. Generally speaking, quantum dot technology is not particularly fresh in terms of applications. Until recently, quantum dot technology has seen wide range applications including computing components, biological sensors, and of course light-emitting diodes or LED. In a way, quantum dot technology has similar function as any nanotechnology in various kind of devices, which is to improve performance and versatility aspect. But in LCD display case, quantum dot technology also plays great role in cutting down power consumption. So how exactly does quantum dot technology can help to breath new life into LCD display?

Dubbed as Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF), 3M tries to propose an enhanced LCD display which offers improved performance in terms of color and power consumption. In fact, 3M claims that their quantum dot technology based new film is able to provide 50% wider color gamut than the existing LCD display for more vivid, immersive visual experience with various product of LCD display including TV, smartphone, monitor and tablet. With improved color performance, it is likely that LCD display will be back in action and if lucky enough reclaim its shine on display industry. After all, accurate, true-to-life is all display manufacturers try to get with each and every of their image-enhancement technologies and features. On their demoed products, you can see an enormous difference between current typical LCD display and new LCD display powered by quantum dot technology.

As with other type of nanotechnology, users can expect the LCD display made out of quantum dot technology to also be thinner or smaller in sizes. For references, quantum dot is super tiny nano particles which comes as narrow 10.000 times of your hair and measures only 2 to 10 nanometer in size. So now imagine an LCD display which can be created from components of that size. Not only that, quantum dot technology is considered the best candidate to breath new life into LCD display for its incredible flexibility. You are able to adjust the wavelength of quantum dot in very precise manner and so does the light emitted too; making it easy to control both image performance and power consumption. The common problem with existing LCD display is the high power consumption due to less managed light emittance and backlight to produce quality images.

With quantum dot technology, LCD display manufacturers can develop unique backlight system for LCD display which emit lights in precise wavelength accordingly to produce high quality images while keeping power consumption manageable. As comparison, advanced LED backlight integrates local dimming feature in which display detects the ambient light and adjust backlighting accordingly. Quantum dot technology works in similar way but more efficient because of their unique flexibility. What's more, using quantum dot technology in LCD display enables display manufacturers to create a thinner, slimmer, and much more compact displays than any of current LCD. It is because you can fit one unit of LCD backlight with trillion of nano-sized quantum dot. From both manufacturers and users perspective, this is definitely a very good news as now it is possible to have super thin LCD display for various kind of devices such as TV, smartphone, monitor, and tablets. Commercial applications can also benefit from the use of quantum dot technology for LCD as it provides high performance and energy efficient solution which is simply ideal for the high demanding environments.

Up until now, LCD display is perhaps the most widely used products in the entire technology landscape and they have not change in any way since long ago. LCD display continuously drives both display manufacturers and users to deal with ongoing battle to have high quality image performance but low power consumption. Countless inventions are coming around to try and solve the issues, from the simple one to state of art one but none seem to figure out dilemma with LCD display. Then, enter quantum dot technology which basically boasts nano-sized light-emitting diodes to end the dilemma with lighter, brighter, and more energy-efficient LCD display. In other words, quantum dot technology not only helps LCD display to provide best visual experience with the enhanced color reproduction but also driving lower power consumption over extensive use.

As mentioned earlier, the recent updates about quantum dot technology comes from 3M and Nanosys which has entered the final stage of their product development for LCD display which is created with quantum dot. The quantum dot film will be used as backlighting for LCD display to produce the exact wavelength and amount of light to create images. While the film can be used any kind of LCD display applications such as TV, smartphones, tablets, and monitors, the company states that it will only be available to display manufacturers around late second quarter of this year. Apart from a collaborative work from 3M and Nanosys, which is the Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF), users can also expect other display which leverages on quantum dot technology for improved performance and better energy saving. It is Sony which goes for quantum dot technology and use it in their backlighting system to power their latest BRAVIA TV lineups for 2013.

On different note, quantum dot technology may also just in time to be the next generation backlighting for other optical-based devices such as projectors, video wall, and digital signage. Because as typical LCD display does, all of these installations seem to face the same issue of getting optimal image performance and reducing power consumption at the same time. Moving forward, quantum dot technology may or may not see further developments and applications on LCD display market since LED backlighting seems to have receive very positive responses in recent years and probably in the future too. That said, quantum dot technology will also have to face challenge from OLED which offers ultimate flexibility than any competing display technologies albeit the steep production costs.

(Date: 23 May 2013; Lidya)

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