Roll to Roll Processing
Pulsed Thermal Processing of Self-Assembled Quantum Dot Structures
The unique properties of nanomaterials hold immense potential to impact various energy related technologies, such as solid state lighting, photovoltaics, and thermoelectrics. Unfortunately, the majority of nanomaterials cannot be manufactured and distributed in quantities sufficient to realize these benefits on a meaningful scale. For instance, the large scale production of nanocrystals, or quantum dots (QDs), is hindered by a high level of material defects and the propensity of the QDs to conglomerate into bundles that are not easily distributed across a surface.
ORNL is developing a chemical synthesis process for the mass production of quantum dots. This process involves the engineered self-assembly of the nanocrystalline particles onto a surface with a uniform spacing. The spacing between nanoparticles is defined by the length of an organic / inorganic molecule that can be tuned to achieve optimal performance. Initial experiments have demonstrated that correctly spaced QDs can constructively interact to improve optical properties –producing a five fold increase in photoluminescence efficiency. The proposed research will develop the quantum dot manufacturing system for roll-to-roll thin film processing. The project will include characterization of the QD thin films, demonstration of scalability toward commercial production, and economic and energy-impact analysis of various market opportunities.