Merck launches joint project to research quantum dots and other materials as efficient light sources

Feb. 26, 2018
Cadmium-free quantum dots will be combined with OLEDs to create new types of displays, automotive taillights, and so on.

Merck (Darmstadt, Germany) announced that it is leading a joint project that will explore the use of quantum dots and other quantum materials in organic LED (OLED) displays and other light sources. Called "Exploration of quantum materials – New paths to realizing innovative optoelectronic components (ELQ-LED)," the project will receive total funding of € 5.5 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The total budget of the project is € 9.1 million.

Other partners in the project include OSRAM OLED (Regensburg, Germany), the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (Potsdam, Germany), the University of Augsburg, Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, and Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg.

OLED displays must satisfy stringent requirements: high image quality and extremely slim, highly energy-efficient designs. Using quantum materials as emitters can potentially satisfy these requirements while at the same time reducing costs and optimizing color spectra. The resulting quantum-material-containing component is called an electroluminescent quantum materials-based light-emitting diode (ELQ-LED). Quantum dots have an output wavelength that is determined by the size of the dot. The toxic metal cadmium will not be used by participants in the new project in the development of materials so as to preserve the safety of OLEDs.

Printed car taillights

In addition to conducting research on quantum materials, the partners plan to test and develop components, processes, matrix materials, transport materials, and inks following the comprehensive approach. All components are to be completely printable to save resources during production. The printed parts are being tested in display and automotive taillight demonstrators.

The research project is scheduled to run for three years, ending in summer 2020.


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