Quantum dots to brighten LCD colors next year

The colors in notebook LCD displays are poised to get a little richer thanks to quantum dots. 3M and Nanosys have created a plastic film that combines cadmium quantum dots with tiny spheres of indium-phosphide. The film replaces a display's diffuser, and it purportedly allows LCDs to produce brighter images with more vivid colors. MIT's Technology Review has the goods on the screen tech, which should start popping up in notebooks next year.

Unfortunately, the story mentions 15.6" notebooks specifically. Looks like smaller displays aren't in the cards just yet, and there's no mention of desktop panels. Both should be possible, though. The quantum-dot-infused film is reportedly inexpensive to produce, and because it replaces an existing LCD component, the layer should be easy to integrate into existing manufacturing lines. We'll see screens equipped with the technology as early as next year, Technology Review says.

Display quality has become a hot topic in the PC world, no doubt thanks to the fact that tablet makers are embracing IPS displays. Quantum dots should make the superior color reproduction of IPS panels even more pleasing, and they could make TN panels more bearable. I'd expect battery life savings, as well. The quantum-dot layer reportedly allows more light through than traditional designs, which should allow displays to get by with dimmer backlights. That will help high-PPI panels in particular, since the smaller pixels of those displays require more illumination than larger pixels.

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