Degradation dynamics of quantum dots in white LED applications

Quantum Dots (QDs) are being investigated in a hybrid white light LED structure which inculcates phosphor in the package with a blue LED chip as the light source recently. In this work, Zn doped CdS QD with ZnS shell together with green light emission phosphor is used. Upon prolonged operation, degradation of the LEDs due to the degradation of QDs is observed, which can limit its practical applications. The degradation includes intensity reduction as well as blue shift of the emitted wavelength from the white light. Three stages of degradation are observed, namely an enhancement state where light intensity is found to increase, followed by a rapid degradation stage where light intensity decreases rapidly, and finally a slower degradation stage where the degradation rate of light intensity slows down and continues till the end of the test. Through various detail material analysis, with confirmation from the density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we find that the degradation of the LEDs is due to the time evolving degradation of CdS core structure, beginning from the oxidation of sulfur vacancy of CdS QDs by the nearby oxygen atoms as a result of imperfection of the ZnS protective coating around the QDs in the presence of blue light. This oxidation renders a transformation of CdS into CdO at the initial stage. The final stage is the formation of CdSO4 via some intermediate processes.

Scroll to Top