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Quantum Dots and Their Potential Impact on Lighting and Display Applications

Garent colored dots & yellow strings

References to “quantum dots,” which are defined as semiconductor structures that have all dimensions sufficiently small to enable quantum confinement in all three dimensions, can be traced back to at least 1988.1 The electronic structure of quantum dots gives them unique semiconductor and optical properties that are tunable as a function of their physical size and composition. A key property of quantum dots is that the optical emission spectra can be tuned by changing their diameter. For example, quantum dots made from cadmium selenide (CdSe) can be adjusted to fluoresce from blue to red by increasing the particle size. This property suggests the potential for higher performance and more efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs), displays, and lasers. Quantum dots have also been proposed for the construction of improved transistors and for quantum computing and medical imaging applications.



  1. R. Hummel, “Electronic Properties of Materials, Second Edition,”Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1993. This book gives a comprehensive introduction to the application of quantum theory for understanding electrical properties of materials, including an introduction to electron theory as it applies to electronics, optics, and magnetics.

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