Team creates ‘new generation of HD’

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A process developed by an international research team could lead to brighter, lighter and more energy efficient high definition TVs and smart devices.

The team’s findings are said to reveal that when quantum dots are clustered together, they are more fluorescent and provide a wide variety of colours.

The research team included representatives from ETH Zurich, Empa, Florida State University, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and Taiwan’s National Synchrotron Radiation Research Centre, as well as Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).

Dr Elton Santos from QUB said: “We anticipate that the number of colours a display can present could be increased by more than 50%. In practice, this means we might have a new type of ‘high-definition’ because of the number of colour combinations that the material can display. Therefore, the next HD generation [could be] as close as three to four years away.”

ETH Zurich Professor Chih-Jen Shih who created the quantum dots and led the investigation, added: “Normally, the quantum yield – which determines the brightness – degrades significantly as quantum dots aggregate, forming crystalline solids. However, our investigations show that brighter levels are achievable because of the new photonic process that we have discovered and have named aggregation-induced emission (AIE).”

Dr Santos continued: “AIE can revolutionise the quality of the colours in TVs because the base colours are red, blue and green. Using AIE, we can create the brightest green ever achieved by any nanomaterial. Once this bright green is integrated with the other two colours, the number of new colour combinations could exceed what is currently possible. The latest QD technology, which is just about to be released to market, allows for 1billion colours – 64 times more than the average TV. However, using the process we have discovered, we can make this even better.”

The researchers are now looking for similar processes for blue and red colours so they can create the ‘Holy Grail’ of screen displays, which would replicate all of the colours that can be captured by the human eye.