Silicon-based light sources are a promising new path towards integrated, compact, and industrially scalable microsystems for advanced computing, networking, and sensing. However, current methods for producing these next-generation lights are lacking. These techniques are often expensive, since they require high temperature, and/or produce lackluster results, owing to the intrinsic properties of the silicon substrate. Colloidal quantum dots have been proposed for light-emitting devices on semiconducting substrates with integrated organic layers, due to their unique tunable luminescence properties. Composite structures of these materials have shown improved quantum efficiencies but are susceptible to degradation in normal operating conditions.
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a method for uniform deposition of quantum dots on a flat surface that enables the fabrication of silicon-based quantum dot LED structures, as shown in Figure 1. This process is quick, simple, and able to be performed at room temperature to enable enhanced microscale patterning over current technology. This technology circumvents the use of spin coating and does not suffer from Langmuir Blodgett film formation in the final product. Lastly, the quantum dot LED structures fabricated with this method are stable in normal operating conditions.
IP Status: US Patent Grant 8,193,010
Figure 1. Schematic of silicon-based quantum dot light-emitting diode (LED) structure enabled by the disclosed technology.