The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing demand for vibrant and energy-efficient displays, rising adoption of quantum dot-enhanced products in the consumer electronics sector, and advancements in quantum dot manufacturing techniques. This has resulted in the growing importance of technologies such as quantum dot synthesis, encapsulation, quantum dot-enhanced liquid crystal display (LCD) and quantum dot light-emitting diodes (LED). In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Quantum computing in technology: quantum dotsBuy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 1.5 million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Quantum dots is a key innovation area in quantum computing

Quantum dots are nanosized semiconductor crystals with unique optical and electronic properties, enabling them to emit or process light. Ranging from 2 to 10 nanometres in diameter and consisting of a few hundred to a few thousand atoms, quantum dots find applications in diverse fields such as displays, lighting, solar cells, lasers, and photodetectors. Their nanoscale size and exceptional characteristics make them highly valuable in these areas of technology.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 90 companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of quantum dots.

Key players in quantum dots – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to quantum dots

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
International Business Machines (IBM) 457 Unlock Company Profile
D-Wave Quantum 314 Unlock Company Profile
Northrop Grumman 301 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 214 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 159 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 140 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 68 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 55 Unlock Company Profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 53 Unlock Company Profile
IonQ 35 Unlock Company Profile
Element Six 33 Unlock Company Profile
IQM Finland 26 Unlock Company Profile
Rigetti 23 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 23 Unlock Company Profile
U.S. Department of Defense 22 Unlock Company Profile
CEA 18 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Science and Technology Agency 18 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent 17 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 17 Unlock Company Profile
Global Foundries 16 Unlock Company Profile
Element Six 15 Unlock Company Profile
Empire Technologies 15 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 14 Unlock Company Profile
Zapata Computing 13 Unlock Company Profile
Corning 13 Unlock Company Profile
River Lane Research 12 Unlock Company Profile
Quantum Motion Technologies 11 Unlock Company Profile
National Research Council of Canada 11 Unlock Company Profile
Kyndi 11 Unlock Company Profile
Parity Quantum Computing 9 Unlock Company Profile
Q-CTRL 9 Unlock Company Profile
Quantum eMotion 9 Unlock Company Profile
STMicroelectronics 9 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 8 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast-Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek 8 Unlock Company Profile
Quantum Machines 7 Unlock Company Profile
PsiQuantum 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 7 Unlock Company Profile
Spanish National Research Council 7 Unlock Company Profile
Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT 6 Unlock Company Profile
Atom Computing 6 Unlock Company Profile
Forschungszentrum Julich 6 Unlock Company Profile
National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia 6 Unlock Company Profile
MITRE 6 Unlock Company Profile
Terra Quantum 5 Unlock Company Profile
Administrators of Tulane Educational Fund 5 Unlock Company Profile
Lockheed Martin 5 Unlock Company Profile
Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique 5 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

IBM is the leading patent filer in the field of quantum dots. One of the company’s patents describes  a technique introducing a chip-based structure for a vertical transmon qubit device. The structure consists of two superconducting materials connected to crystalline substrates, and it includes a vertical Josephson junction within the substrate. Additionally, the structure incorporates a transmon qubit that utilizes the vertical Josephson junction and a capacitor positioned between the two superconducting materials.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Northrop Grumman and Microsoft.

By geographic reach, Kyndi leads the pack, followed by Corning and Quantum eMotion. In terms of application diversity, Intel holds the top position, followed by Corning and Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT.

Quantum dots are gaining significance across various industries due to their exceptional colour purity, tunability, and high efficiency in applications such as displays, lighting, and solar cells. They are typically encapsulated with a protective coating to enhance their stability, prevent degradation, and improve their optical properties. Accurate characterisation techniques such as spectroscopy, microscopy, and electrical measurements are employed to analyse quantum dot size, emission spectra, quantum yield, and charge carrier dynamics.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Quantum Computing.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.