Nanorods and Other Dimensionally Confined Nanomaterials for Optoelectronics

December 15,2015

Dimensionally Confined Nanomaterials (DCNs) enable optoelectronics due to high luminescence and control of the spectral output. The market for DCNs is expected to have high growth rate and value. Developing DCNs will help Dow gain significant IP as well as the technological and competitive advantage of novel quantum confined materials in solid-state lighting and emissive displays.

Working in collaboration with the University of Illinois, Dow is conducting research to differentiate DCNs to improve its device performance IP.

Dimensionally Confined Nanomaterials (DCNs) enable optoelectronics due to high luminescence and control of the spectral output. The market for DCNs is expected to have high growth rate and value. Developing DCNs will help Dow gain significant IP as well as the technological and competitive advantage of novel quantum confined materials in solid-state lighting and emissive displays.

Working in collaboration with the University of Illinois, Dow is conducting research to differentiate DCNs to improve its device performance IP.

Q1. What is your view on future growth opportunities for DCNs?

Peter Trefonas: DCNs enable optoelectronics due to superior properties including high luminescence and control of the spectral output. The DCNs we have been synthesizing in electro-emissive devices set the standards for very low turn-on voltage and record high-power efficiencies. Discovering and engineering these disruptive materials through fundamental research is key for the next generation of electroluminescent displays and other applications. There is immense opportunity in the discovery and invention of novel one-dimensional DCN compositions, such as nanorods with heterojunction interfaces between semiconducting materials. In particular, our focus is on cadmium-free (Cd-free) compositions.

Q2. What is the primary objective of your research?

Peter Trefonas: Quantum confined nanomaterials can potentially transform the display and lighting industry as we learn how to capitalize on their remarkable properties to improve the performance well beyond what exists today. The research program at the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana is addressing such challenges as the synthesis of high-efficiency, robust materials via green chemistry, and novel device design.

Moonsub Shim: Our research focuses on development of green dimensionally confined nanomaterials with novel morphologies; characterization and understanding of their unique structure and properties; integration of DCNs into novel matrices and systems to enhance light extraction; and economical production of DCNs through materials engineering and optimized process design.

Q3. What will the impact of your research be?

Moonsub Shim: Our research will enable novel quantum confined materials in high-performance emissive displays, as well as novel user interfaces with the display.

Q4. What is the competitiveness and landscape of your DCNs?

Peter Trefonas: Several startup companies, including Nanosys and QD-Vision, are pursuing technology implementation using spherical quantum dots. Our DCNs are differentiated by unique one-dimensional morphologies like nanorods, heterojunction compositions, and integrated matrices. This promising research area offers great potential for Dow IP and should lead to improved device performance through physical property optimization for enhanced light extraction.

Q5. What has the partnership achieved so far in 2015?

Moonsub Shim: Recent efforts have led to the design and development of novel heterostructured nanorod materials with unique electrical and optical properties that greatly enhance optoelectronic device performance. Much of the current focus is on developing Cd-free compositions with good luminescence and color control. In parallel, we have demonstrated continuous nanocrystal synthesis; and benchmarked reactor designs and processes against commercial batch processes with respect to size control and distribution, and optical quality.

Another focus area is polymeric encapsulation to prevent environmental degradation. We have also progressed in discovering new ways to enhance light extraction (enhanced by 8 times!) by placing QD-containing polymer films on easily manufactured photonic crystal substrates. Most exciting is our success with highly polarized light emission from these systems, which greatly simplifies display designs. Our research continues until next year. I appreciate Peter Trefonas, Jieqian Zhang and the rest of the Dow team involved for this highly productive collaboration.