Quantum Dot Nanocomposites

Quantum-Dot nanocomposite
© Fraunhofer ISC
Photochemically curable resins based on ORMOCER® as a matrix system and different quantum dot emission lines under UV illumination.

Quantum dots are nanoscale semiconductor particles that have gained great notoriety because they can convert the wavelength of light very efficiently. They absorb blue or ultraviolet light and emit sharply defined wavelengths in the visible spectral range, depending on their size. Due to this property, quantum dots can find a wide range of applications, for example, in lighting technology, biomedicine, photovoltaics and, in particular, display technology.

Fraunhofer ISC is developing nanocomposites consisting of a hybrid polymer matrix and quantum dots. The materials developed are thermally or photochemically crosslinkable resins or inks that can be used, for example, in sensors or in the display sector.

Cured quantum dot resins
© Fraunhofer ISC
Cured samples made from the resins above under UV illumination.

It has been possible to adjust the matrix systems in such a way that the quantum dots can be dispersed homogeneously while retaining the advantageous properties of the hybrid polymers in terms of reliability and optical quality. In one specific project, 3D printable resins were developed to act as narrowband filters in a sensor array for microfluidics.

2PP Gyroid CeSMA
© Fraunhofer ISC
3D „Gyroid“-structure made from a quantum-dot nanocomposite by two-photon polymerization
(size: 32 x 32 x 32 µm³).

The special properties of the quantum dot materials developed at ISC include:

  • High optical quality
  • No influence of the matrix material on the properties of the quantum dots
  • Processing by various methods, such as lithography, 3D printing, inkjet, Two-Photon Polymerization
  • Storage stability
  • Reliability (e.g. low degradation at 85 °C and 85 % rel. humidity, high thermal stability)

Publication I SPIE Digital Library

Additive manufacturing of photoluminescent optics

Project NeMFagO

Novel Materials for the functionalization of printed optics