Light Emitting Silicon Quantum Dots

The market of emitting materials (used in LEDs, displays etc.) is in need of materials that are energy-efficient. The market demand is rapidly growing, currently a multi-billion euro market. One of the solutions offered are quantum dots (QDs), semiconductor-based nanoparticles displaying fluorescence upon irradiation with UV light. However, conventional QDs are based on toxic and/or critical elements (Cd, In, Se), while their chemical stability and resistance against photobleaching are limited. However, legislation is becoming more and more restrictive on the usage of heavy metals (Pb, Cd) and critical elements employed in conventional QDs. A recent novel solution was found by using silicon as a base material. These so-called silicon quantum dots (Si QDs) offer several advantages: non-toxicity, high absorption cross-section leading to lower energy usage (with respect to rare earth ions), high chemical and photochemical stability and low-cost base. However, a major downside of Si QDs is their indirect bandgap, which results in very poor (low) light emission and band-edge absorption. SpectriS-dot found a way to overcome this problem and demonstrated that Si QDs can be an efficient light emitter. SpectriS-dot’s innovation has all to do with the physical mechanism that removes the indirect bandgap. By surface engineering of the Si QDs – usage of a polar (electronegative) capping material – a strongly emitting Si QD is produced. The business opportunity is to replace light emitting elements in lighting and displays, by developing Si QDs with rivaling or exceeding optical properties.

  • Projectnummer / Project number: 18344
  • Deelnemende kennisinstellingen / Participating institutes: Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Projectleider / Project leader: R. van Kleef, SpectriS-dot b.v.
  • Type project / Type project: Lopend / Current
  • Startdatum / Start date: 01-01-2020
  • Programma / Programme: Take-off
  • Vakgebied / Discipline: Natuurkunde / Physics