What was the impact?
In 2001, O’Brien and Pickett founded NanocoTechnologies Ltd in order to progress the development of quantum dot technology. Since 2004, Nanoco has focused on the development of heavy metal-free quantum dots that comply with hazardous substances legislation. By 2013, Nanoco had a market capitalisation value of £384 million.
Nanoco has been working to develop quantum dots for display applications. Quantum dot-containing components can be incorporated into LCD backlight units (BLUs), improving the energy efficiency and range of colours that can be emitted compared to BLUs with conventional white LEDs. In 2013, Nanoco entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Dow Electronic Materials for the sale, marketing and manufacture of their quantum dots for use in electronic displays.
TVs containing Nanoco’s heavy metal-free quantum dots were showcased by LG at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2015. The quantum dot and quantum dot display market is anticipated to be worth $6.4 billion by 2019.
Other areas of Nanoco’s research and development include lighting, biological imaging and thin-film solar cell applications. Quantum dots can be incorporated into high-efficiency LED lighting with a tuneable colour temperature. Nanoco is working in collaboration with University College London, as part of an Innovate UK-funded project, to develop cadmium-free quantum dots for cancer diagnostics. Nanoco has also developed a range of copper indium gallium diselenide/disulphide (CIGS) nanoparticles for use in thin-film solar devices that can be deposited using low-cost printing techniques.