Light from sand

Silicon Nanotechnologies for a Sustainable Future


SpectriS-dot BV is a spin-off company from the Netherlands, developing non-toxic semiconductor quantum dots - SQ-dots - with efficient and tuneable emission, prepared from abundant raw material resources.

SQ-dots offer a platform nano-technology with numerous applications from security and surveillance to UV-coatings, bio-functional coatings for sensing, medical imaging or drug delivery. SQ-dots have potential also in renewable energy, quantum optics and photonics, LEDs and colour-displays for portable devices, large screen TVs or advertisement panels.

Thanks to their non-toxicity, bio-degradability and abundance of resources, SQ-dots have the potential to replace all the currently employed hazardous or expensive materials. 


Nanotechnologies are in general considered highly hazardous in relation to environment or health. Due to their ultra-small size, quantum dots, nanometer sized pieces of semiconducting material, have capability of entering living organisms' cells through many pathways - inhaling, ingestion, through skin contact, etc. Major part of the toxicity is caused by the decomposition of the quantum dot into toxic constituent elements.

Currently used quantum dots contain such elements that are highly toxic and environmentally hazardous (Cd, Se, Zn) and/or scarce or expensive (In, Te). These pitfalls render such technologies uneconomical, environmentally unsafe and thus unsustainable for business.

SQ-dots are primarily composed of silicon and therefore inherently non-toxic. Silicon is one of the most abundant elements available on Earth, while decomposition of silicon results in harmless byproducts (silicic acid). These aspects enable close to unlimited up-scalability without major economical, environmental or health consequences. Furthermore, silicon production technology and infrastructure is readily available and well-developed due to its common use in microelectronics and photovoltaics. 

Techno logy

Quantum dots (QDs) signify an artificial engineered material - nanometer sized pieces of semiconductor with inorganic or organic coatings. QDs typically offer promising optical properties: bright and energy efficient, colour-tuneable emission and strong efficient absorption. Emitted light can be brighter and colours purer with lower power consumption, when compared to commonly employed organic dyes or rare earth ions in colour displays and LEDs. 

SQ-dots are from majority composed of silicon. Besides its advantages listed above, SQ-dots also offer tuneable emission colours and excellent photo-chemical stability. Silicon as a material is generally considered unsuitable for light emission and efficient absorption due to its inherently indirect band-structure. Silicon QDs offer slightly enhanced emission capacities, but uncompetitive with respect to the QDs composed of the hazardous materials like CdSe or ZnS, which is due to their direct band-structure. Also, silicon QDs have further critical issues with their emission colour. SQ-dots produced by SpectriS-Dot have modified properties thanks to admixture of Carbon. The emission efficiency can be as high as in direct band-structure QD materials with full range colour tuneability from UV/blue to red/near-infrared. Finally, SQ-dots are inherently non-toxic, offer excellent photo-stability and can be functionalized by virtually any (bio-)molecule, making them highly suitable for medical applications.

Pro ducts

Con tact

SpectriS-dot BV (KvK 64625575)
Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam
The Netherlands [map]