Print your own lasers, lights and TV screens

Imagine printing your own room lighting, lasers, or solar cells from inks you buy at the local newsagent. Jacek Jasieniak and his colleagues at CSIRO, the University of Melbourne and the University of Padua in Italy, have moved a step closer to such a future, by developing liquid inks based on quantum dots that can be used to print devices.

These quantum dot inks will transform our use of light in the home and office. In the first demonstration of these inks Jacek and his colleagues have made tiny printable lasers.

Four different colours of quantum dots (photo: Jacek Jasieniak)

The first laser, invented 50 years ago in May 1960, was described as a solution looking for a problem. Today dozens of lasers are built into our computers, cars and homes. Soon, thanks to Jacek’s work, we may have millions of tiny lasers working in our homes lighting our rooms and even acting as pixels in printable TV screens. The lasers could also be used as components in optical computers, electronics, sensors, as cheap laser pointers in a range of colours or even fashion accessories.

Jacek’s work is being presented for the first time in public through Fresh Science, a communication boot camp for early-career scientists held at the Melbourne Museum. Jacek was one of 16 winners from across Australia.

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