Space Exploration

Posts Tagged ‘LEDs’

Quantum Dots and the Future of Lighting

Posted on: May 9th, 2012 by partapsingh No Comments

Quantum dots are crystals in which the bound states of the electrons are confined in the three spatial dimensions. They have electronic properties between those of semiconductors and discrete molecules. Their characteristics are related to the size of the crystal, so the manufacturing process can precisely control them. My main interest in them lies in the future of computing – the possible development of quantum computers. However, along the way, researchers are trying to put them to use in all sorts of ways.

This time we have a seemingly mundane attempt to put them to use: in lighting. As anyone who can afford a good television/computer/handheld device knows, the cutting edge in lighting is now these guys:

Blue LEDs

Courtesy of Gussisaurio at Wikipedia

LEDs (light-emitting diodes), which are semiconductor light sources. They are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and easy on the eyes. Actually, the use of energy is key to their long life – the less energy you use, the less heat you generate, and the less wear the light source will experience. Unfortunately, we can’t buy LED lights for room lighting yet (unless I’m behind the times, which is entirely possible), but already quantum dots are popping up as an alternative: