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Light-Creating Crystal May be a New Platform for LED Technology

First Posted: Jul 16, 2015 08:29 AM EDT

Scientists may have created a new platform for LED technology. They've created a new, hyper-efficient , light-creating crystal.

In this latest work, researchers designed a way to embed strongly luminescent nanoparticles called colloidal quantum dots into perovskite. Perovskites are a family of materials that can be easily manufactured from solution, and that allow electrons to move swiftly through them with minimal loss or capture by defects.

"It's a pretty novel idea to blend together these two optoelectronic materials, both of which are gaining a lot of traction," said Xiwen Gong, one of the study's lead authors, in a news release. "We wanted to take advantage of the benefits of both by combining them seamlessly in a solid-state matrix."

The result of combining these two elements is a black crystal that relies on the perovskite matrix to "funnel" electrons into the quantum dots, which are extremely efficient at converting electricity to light. Hyper-efficient LED technologies could enable applications from the visible light LED bulbs in everyone home to new displays to gesture recognition using near-infrared wavelengths.

Combining the two materials in this way also solves the issue of self-absorption, which occurs when a substance partly re-absorbs the same spectrum of energy that it emits, with a net efficiency loss. The dots in perovskite don't suffer reabsorption since the emission of the dots doesn't overlap with the absorption spectrum of the perovskite.

The findings are published in the journal Nature.

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