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A new display material from the University of Taiwan

A research team led by Professor Hsueh-Shih (Sean) Chen of the National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan has announced a new quantum dot material referred to as "more stable" and able to offer more realistic colors.

The main limitations of current quantum dot display materials are that they are unstable and particularly delicate; the team reports that they have corrected these characteristics by developing a "screen" about 1 nanometer thick on the facets of the crystals of each quantum dot. The new material has a wide range of applications, including screens used in televisions, computers, cell phones and cameras.

Thanks to the support of NTHU, the team has already filed patent applications for the new material and founded the company HsinLight Inc. for production on a commercial scale.

Many of the current displays on the market are liquid crystal (LCD) and offer chromatic gradation and saturation capable of displaying only one third of the colors visible to the human eye; even the so-called Retina displays, such as those of the iPhone 11, according to the researchers allow you to view about half of the colors visible to the human eye. The displays with the new QD material (TV QLED) can show 90% of the colors visible to the human eye.

From the University of Taiwan a new display material

some obstacles still need to be overcome before the quantum dot material is used extensively. Professor Chen explains that quantum dots are spherical crystals with a size of about 3 nanometers and are easily damaged in contact with water and oxygen molecules, elements that reduce their brightness. At the moment, manufacturers like Samsung control this problem by sandwiching the quantum dots with layers of protective film but an inexpensive choice from a cost point of view and leads to failures due to the loss of the protective material inserted into tiny holes.

Inspired, he says, by the shield used by superheroes of comics such as Captain America in the film The Avengers, Chen had the idea of ​​applying to each quantum dot a protective shield of about 1 nanometer, an element that allows them to be resistant to water and oxidation, also increasing the stability of the material and the duration of the display.

In the past two years, various companies have sold televisions with quantum dot technology, but due to the fragility of the materials needed to mass produce them, the costs are relatively high. According to Chen, the technology that allows you to "shield" quantum dots will significantly reduce production costs.