Quantum Confinement and Host/Guest Chemistry: Probing a New Dimension

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Science  09 Feb 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4943, pp. 669-678
DOI: 10.1126/science.247.4943.669


Nanoparticulate metals and semiconductors that have atomic arrangements at the interface of molecular clusters and "infinite" solid-state arrays of atoms have distinctive properties determined by the extent of confinement of highly delocalized valence electrons. At this interface, the total number of atoms and the geometrical disposition of each atom can be used to significantly modify the electronic and photonic response of the medium. In addition to teh novel inherent physical properties of the quantum-confined moieties, their "packaging" into nanocomposite bulk materials can be used to define the confinement surface states and environment, intercluster interactions, the quantum-confinement geometry, and the effective charge-carrier density of the bulk. Current approaches for generating nanostructures of conducting materials are briefly reviewed, especially the use of three-dimensional crystalline superlattices as hosts for quantum-confined semiconductor atom arrays (such as quantum wires and dots) with controlled inter-quantum-structure tunneling.

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