Quantum dots are semiconductor nanocrystals that can convert electrical energy into light and can be manipulated to produce precise colors for displays. They are cheaper and consume less power than organic light-emitting diodes (OLED). However, they cannot be produced in the same quantities yet.
Touch Display Research, a market research and consulting firm, forecasts that the global market for quantum dot displays and lighting components will rise to $9.6 billion by 2023 from $508 million in 2014. Currently, a handful of companies is able to make quantum dots. These are partnering with big display makers to set up industrial-scale manufacturing.
Dow Chemical holds exclusive worldwide rights to sell Nanoco’s quantum dots. Quantum dots using Nanoco’s technology do not contain cadmium the use of which is restricted in many countries. Dow is building a plant in South Korea where commercial production of such quantum dots is expected to begin in the first half of 2015.