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Quantum Dots Could Lead to Faster Computers


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quantum dots

Quantum dot semiconductor crystals emit photons when hit by a beam of light in a color that is characteristic of their material.

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An international team of scientists has developed a new type of semiconductor that could lead to faster and more efficient computers. The new research centers on a class of semiconductor called magnetic quantum dots, crystals so small they're measured in nanometres.

Quantum dots were first developed about 15 years ago and are used in computer chips, solar cells, LEDs and diode lasers. They have the ability to allow electrons to give off photons on command.

The new work, reported Monday (March 8) in the journal Nature Materials, describes a class of quantum dots that not only control electrons, but also have good magnetic properties allowing them to read the electron's spin. The research team claims it's the first successful synthesis of magnetic quantum dots above room temperature.

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