Alexander Efros, Quantum Dot Expert, Speaks Out on Technology’s Milestones and Potential

on May 30, 2016
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For those with questions about the diverse ways in which Quantum dot breakthroughs are starting to change the technological landscape, the 2016 International Conference on Quantum Dots (QD2016) provided plenty of answers.


The event took place from May 22 to May 27 on Jeju Island, south of the Korean mainland, and was the ninth event of its kind. QD2016 saw notable experts in a variety of fields (and hailing from some 30 countries) gather for the event.


One of their number, Dr. Alexander L. Efros of the US Naval Research Laboratory, is considered to be one of the world’s foremost Quantum dot scholars, and was a plenary speaker at QD2016 on May 25.


Efros’ presentation, which focused on the history of Quantum dot technology, its development and future possibilities, received a positive response from QD2016 attendees. Samsung Newsroom caught up with him after his lecture to speak about the past, present and future of Quantum dots.



Quantum Dots – Synthetic Wonders



The source of a good deal of manmade technologies can be traced back to natural phenomena. Scientists dreaming of flight, for instance, were doubtlessly inspired by the way birds fly. Quantum dots are in many ways similar, as they can be considered to be the closest thing there is to manmade atoms.


And Efros (pictured above) said, “Using these artificial particles, people can – in principal – create materials that do not occur naturally.”


He added, “Quantum dot technology advances mean that people can now dream of new solid state materials with properties that nature does not provide us with.”


As Efros notes, Quantum dot-related research has moved forward very quickly.


“Quantum dot technology is developing faster than ever,” said Efros. “Thousands of scientists and engineers are currently conducting research in this area. I believe we will achieve favorable outcomes in a large range of fields.”


Improved diagnostic medical devices and inexpensive solar cells, as well as better tunable LEDs, lasers and displays are just a few notable examples of the progress scientists have already made on this front, explains Efros.



Importance of the First Commercialization of Cadmium-Free Quantum Dots



Efros received his PhD in the former Soviet Union and, after spending some time in Germany, eventually settled in the United States in 1993.


Having worked at the US Naval Research Laboratory for over twenty years, he is one of the world’s leading Quantum dot experts, and has been researching the technology for over three decades. Through his considerable efforts in the field, he has developed a strong attachment to Samsung Electronics’ recently released range of SUHD TVs, which feature cadmium-free Quantum dot displays.


Efros expressed delight when he first heard news that Samsung had applied Quantum dot technology to its SUHD TVs. He said, “I think the quality of colors you can experience on SUHD TVs is excellent. When I first saw the SUHD TVs, I realized that my research over the last 30 years had not been in vain.”



Efros delivers a keynote speech at the Ramada Plaza Jeju Hotel on May 25, to an audience of some 300 people with an interest in Quantum dot technology.


Since SUHD TV sets made their debut, Quantum dot-related research has been gathering momentum. Efros said, “Most forms of technology tend to hit a period of stagnation after a while, but now this technology has reached the stage of practical application, Quantum dots are garnering quite a lot of attention.”


Quantum dots have seemingly unlimited potential, not only in the display sector, but also for solar energy resources, medical equipment, LEDs, lasers and sensors. For now, however, SUHD TV is still something of a pioneer in terms of applied Quantum dot technology. For people like Efros, expectations about this technology’s potential continue to heighten.


* Last week in Jeju City, Korea, top scholars from around the world came together to share the latest on Quantum dot research at the 9th International Conference on Quantum Dots. Samsung, being the first in the world to commercialize cadmium-free Quantum dot technology with its SUHD TVs, also took part, sharing its experiences in Quantum dot research. This article is the first of a three-part series that highlights recent advancements in Quantum dot technology.

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