Nanosys' eye-popping QDEF (Quantum Dot Enhancement Film) might be inching closer to a display near you. A new partnership with 3M aims to get the color-loving tech commercialized and into mainstream products. The film uses quantum dots to create an LCD with a wider color gamut -- apparently translating to up to 50 percent more color. The quantum dots are packed onto this film in their trillions (yes, trillions) which is then fitted within the backlight. As the new layer would replace the existing one within LCDs, Nanosys' solution aims to avoid the need for new equipment or processes. However, we're still waiting for high-color QDEF to become that "ecosystem changer" we were promised.

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Nanosys and 3M to Bring Amazing Color to Consumer Electronic Displays
Companies to Develop Quantum Dot Technology for LCDs

Palo Alto, Calif., and St. Paul, Minn., June 5, 2012 – Nanosys Inc. and the Optical Systems Division of 3M Company are joining technologies to provide wide color gamut technology for consumer electronic displays, allowing Liquid Crystal Displays ("LCDs") to display 50 percent more color.

3M and Nanosys will work together to commercialize Nanosys' Quantum Dot Enhancement Film™ ("QDEF") technology. QDEF is a drop-in film that LCD manufacturers can integrate with existing production processes. It utilizes the light emitting properties of quantum dots to create an ideal backlight for LCDs -- one of the most critical factors in the color and efficiency performance of LCDs.

"Combining the world class-technology and materials expertise of Nanosys with the engineering, design and supply chain capabilities of 3M will unlock a powerful new color viewing experience for consumers," said Jim Bauman, Vice President of the Optical Systems Division at 3M.

Over the years, 3M technologies have enabled better LCD performance. However, color performance of LCD's has gone largely unchanged. Current LCDs are limited to displaying 35 percent or less of the visible color spectrum. This means the viewing experience on an LCD is vastly different than what a person sees in the real world. Wide color gamut displays will allow consumers to enjoy more visceral, more immersive and truer to life color.

"We are working together to improve an area of display performance that has been largely neglected for the last decade," said Jason Hartlove, President and CEO of Nanosys. "Improving color performance for LCDs with drop-in solutions will bring a stunning new visual experience to the consumer and a competitive advantage to the LCD manufacturer against new display technologies such as OLED. Working together with 3M and utilizing their outstanding design and supply chain capabilities will allow our QDEF technology to be widely deployed across all product segments and will ensure availability to all customers."

A quantum dot, which is 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, can emit light at a very precise wavelength. The ability to control the spectral output of a quantum dot allows QDEF to create an ideal white backlight specifically designed for LCDs. Trillions of these quantum dots are packaged into a thin film that fits inside an LCD backlight unit. QDEF replaces a similar film already found inside LCD backlights, which means that adding QDEF to manufacturing processes requires no new equipment or process changes for the LCD manufacturer.

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3M and Nanosys team-up to roll out quantum dot-enhanced LCDs