Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a process that produces quantum dots that are uniform in size and shape, give off bright emissions, discharge a very narrow peak of emissions, and eliminate a tendency to blink on and off, which limited the usefulness of earlier quantum dots.
The particles were made with a core of cadmium selenide and thin shells of cadmium sulfide.
A key factor in getting the particles to achieve all of the desired characteristics was slowly growing them in solution, so their properties could be precisely controlled.
One potential application of the new quantum dots is in medical testing and research because they have several advantages over dyes, including the ability to label many kinds of cells and tissues in different colors.
The small size of the dots also is important for potential biological applications. If you want to tag something in a biological system, the tag has got to be small enough so that it does not overwhelm the sample or interfere significantly with its behavior, notes MIT professor Moungi Bawendi.
The quantum dots also could be used to create energy-efficient computer and TV screens.
From MIT News
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