PITA Fiscal Year 2013 Projects

Development of Bottom-Up Fabrication Schemes for Robust Multi-Color Quantum Dot Heterostructures

Lead University: Carnegie Mellon University
PI: Michael R. Bockstaller Materials Science and Engineering
Co-PI: Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Chemistry Department
PA Industry: Crystalplex Corp

Semiconductor quantum dot (QD)-based full color luminescent panels are expected to provide breakthrough advances in the area of energy efficient active display and lighting technologies. To facilitate this type of application established manufacturing processes apply four-color screen or inkjet printing processes to fabricate monochromatic zones of distinct-color QDs. The sequential nature of multistep zone printing presents a formidable challenge for the commercialization of QD-based active display and lighting technologies because it limits scale-up and cost efficient production. The overarching technical objective of this proposal is to develop a transformative new bottom-up approach for the high throughput and cost efficient production QD-based luminescent panels by harnessing the autonomous organization of mixed polymer-modified QD systems into monochromatic domain structures.

The scientific objectives of this proposal are threefold: First, to extend existing polymerization techniques to the scalable synthesis of polymer-functionalized QDs with precise control of the architecture of surface-grafted chains. Second, to elucidate the mechanism and kinetics of phase separation processes in thin films of mixed polymer-grafted QD systems. Third, to understand the effect of polymer-graft modification on the microstructure and photoluminescence efficiency of QD-array structures. The results of the proposed research will provide a foundation for the development of new and transformative fabrication strategies for the cost-efficient production of full-color quantum dot-based luminescent panels by replacing the established fabrication process based on multistep zone printing with a uniform coating process and the subsequent self-assembly of quantum dots in monochromatic domain structures.