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March 8th, 2010

A quantum leap for lighting

In lighting, quantum dots allow the colour of the light from a light source to be precisely controlled, says Jason Hartlove, the chief executive of Nanosys, based in Palo Alto, California—one of a handful of companies making quantum dots and selling lighting components based on them. The first products to come to market use quantum dots to produce warm, white light from blue LEDs. In essence, quantum dots are used to change the colour of the light. The advantage of this approach is that blue LEDs are the brightest, most energy-efficient kind.

QD Vision's first product, developed in conjunction with Nexxus Lighting of Charlotte, North Carolina, consists of a film embedded with quantum dots of different sizes in carefully chosen ratios. The film attaches to the front of a bulb containing several blue LEDs, and acts like a phosphor: blue light from the LEDs excites the quantum dots, causing them to emit light in a range of colours which combines to form white light.


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