Quantum dot technology is now several years old. We appreciate its pluses, real bright colours, but we have been unable, so far, to use it in displays. Nanoparticles, tiny beads made of Gallium and Niobium, can convert light wavelengths thus transforming one colour into a different one.
This is what Nanosys does. A very thin layer of quantum dots is able to transform the blue light emitted by blue diodes into blue, green and red, that is the additive components resulting in white light. To understand why this is useful we have to remember that current LCD screens are basically a matrix of filters (red, green and blue, one per pixel) illuminated by a white light. By making each of them more or less transparent to the back light you get to show the desired colour.
The problem is that the white light in the back panel is actually generated by diodes emitting blue light, covered by phosphor particles that transform the blu light in a (composed) white. In doing this energy gets transformed into heath and the resulting light illuminating the pixel is weaker. In addition, the phosphor do not transform the blue light in an equal amount of blue red and green (as you might expect the blue takes the lion share) and therefore this has to be counterbalanced by filters that are heavier on blue to avoid bluish images.
With the layer of quantum dot to replace the phosphor the conversion is much better and the resulting white is more balanced and brighter. The result is a much better colour rendition (and lower energy consumption). The really good thing is that there is no need to change the current LCD production process since this layer goes to replace the phosphor layer.
Nanosys is now in the process of commercialising its invention and we should be able to appreciate the effect on next years notebooks.
Here what the guys of Nansys say about their technology: