Seth Coe-Sullivan, 29
Making screens crystal clear
As a graduate student at MIT, Seth Coe-Sullivan created a possible way to make amazingly bright and colorful displays using quantum dots, tiny semiconductor crystals that emit specific colors of light when energized. Researchers had made light-emitting devices out of quantum dots before, but Coe-Sullivan improved their efficiency by developing a technique that produces a uniform, ultrathin layer of the dots between two flat electrodes. He then cofounded QD Vision in Watertown, MA, with the goal of arranging quantum dots into pixels to create full-color, flat-panel displays for cell phones, laptops, and televisions.
As chief technology officer, Coe-Sullivan has already led the fabrication of small monochromatic displays as well as the development of a process that will lead to full-color versions. These screens will produce brighter images and more saturated colors than conventional displays--while reducing both component cost and power consumption by half. They could appear in cell phones by 2009.