NANOMATERIALS

Peering into the heart of a quantum dot

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Science  08 Aug 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6197, pp. 634-635
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6197.634-d

When you shrink semiconductors down to quantum dots—particles a few billionths of a meter in diameter—their color becomes very sensitive to their size. Over the past decade, scientists have exploited this property in numerous optical devices without knowing the precise atomic structure of the particles they were using. Beecher et al. now report detailed structures of three classes of cadmium selenide quantum dots, each with a different size and light absorption spectrum. The key was to use a selenium precursor that facilitated the synthesis of highly uniform samples. In the past, the dots in a single sample tended to range too much in size for this degree of characterization.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja503590h (2014).

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