May 10, 2013 — Quantum dots are tiny nanocrystals with extraordinary optical and electrical properties with possible uses in dye production, bioimaging, and solar energy production. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a way to introduce precisely four copper ions into each and every quantum dot.
"When the crystallinity is perfect, the quantum dots do something that no one expected-they become very emissive and end up being the world's best dye," says Preston Snee, assistant professor of chemistry at UIC and principal investigator on the study.
Jawaid developed a procedure that reliably produces perfect quantum dots, each doped with exactly four copper ions. Snee believes the method will enable them to substitute other guest ions with the same consistent results.
"This opens up the opportunity to study a wide array of doped quantum dot systems," he said.
Donald Wink and Leah Page of UIC and Soma Chattopadhyay of Argonne National Laboratory also contributed to the study.
Support for the research came from UIC and the UIC Chancellor's Discovery Fund and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. The Materials Research Collaborative Access Team, a consortium for building and operating x-ray beamlines at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source, is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the MRCAT member institutions. The use of the Advanced Photon Source was supported by the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences under contract DE-QC02-06CH11357.
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