Quantum dots are manufactured semiconductor crystals the size of only 10 to 50 atoms. They will have many uses in computing, LEDs, and photovoltaic cells (among other things) but their use has been limited by a lack of knowledge of the basic structure and chemical composition. However, new research has provided the mapping techniques necessary to overcome this hurdle.
The new atomic-scale maps will help fill that knowledge gap, clearing the path to more rapid progress in the field of quantum-dot directed assembly, said Roy Clarke, U-M professor of physics and corresponding author of a paper on the topic published online Sept. 27 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. “We’re measuring the position and the chemical makeup of individual pieces of a quantum dot at a resolution of one-hundredth of a nanometer,” Clarke said. “So it’s incredibly high resolution.” [Reference:University of Michigan]