Following acquisition, Nanosys to step up NanoLED development

Mike Wheatley

Nanosys, which supplies the quantum dot technology that’s used in TV panels such as Samsung’s QLED and QD-OLED displays, was recently acquired by Japan’s Shoei Chemical and is now stepping up its focus on NanoLED.


NanoLED is Nanosys’s name for an extremely promising technology that’s based on quantum dots and can potentially make TV displays brighter and slimmer with more accurate colour reproduction.

Nanosys is the world’s leading supplier of materials that are used to make quantum dots, and its technology has been implemented in more than 70 million LCD and OLED displays used in televisions, monitors, tablets and smartphones.

Shoei Chemical announced its acquisition of Nanosys on Sept. 6, and the new parent company believes quantum dots have an extremely bright future, Display Daily reported.

In recent years, Nanosys has revealed a number of interesting proposals for more enhanced quantum dot-based displays, but none have actually been commercialised so far. One recent idea the company announced is its QD-microLED technology, which is a blue MicroLED display that uses quantum dot colour converters to create red and green sub-pixels. It sounds very similar to Samsung’s QD-OLED.

However, the company has a much more radical idea based on QLED technology – quantum light-emitting diodes.

Unlike Samsung and other brands, Nanosys’ technology is a true QLED display made from electroluminescent quantum dots that conduct electricity and create their own light, without the need for separate light emitting diodes behind them. This is very different from the QLED displays we know today, which are really just LCD TVs that utilise a layer of quantum dots to enhance the colours. The name QLED was stolen by TV brands for marketing purposes, but it is deception.

Nanosys calls its “real QLED” technology NanoLED, but it is also known by various other names, such as electroluminescent quantum dot, emissive quantum dot, QDEL, ELQD, QD-LED, EL-QLED and AMQLED.

More important than the name is how the technology works. Whereas existing QLED displays use photoluminescent quantum dots that absorb light from another source (LED or OLED pixels) before converting it into colours, NanoLED is made entirely from electroluminescent quantum dots that conduct electricity and create their own light, without the need for separate light emitting diodes behind them.

NanoLED eliminates the need for LEDs or OLEDs, and is therefore considered to be a genuine breakthrough in display technology. Nanosys says it can improve brightness and contrast, reproduce more accurate colours, make displays more energy efficient and also make them much thinner than they currently are. The technology uses fewer layers, and that may also mean they eventually become cheaper, too.

Under Shoei Chemical’s stewardship, Nanosys will prioritise and accelerate NanoLED development. “It’s incredibly exciting and it’s not too far off, it is closer to commercialization than I think many people realize,” Nanosys VP of Marketing Jeff Yurek told Display Daily in an interview. “Shoei is committed to the future of quantum dot technology and we’re excited to accelerate progress in NanoLEDs as a part of Shoei.”

Previously, Nanosys has said it’s hoping to commercialise its NanoLED technology 2025 or 2026.