Nobel Prize In Chemistry 2023: Three developers of quantum dots—particles so small that quantum physics affects their electrical and optical properties—have been awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Louis Brus of Columbia University and Alexei Ekimov at Nanocrystals technique, both in New York, are two of the winners. They independently developed the technique in the 1980s. Moungi Bawendi from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, who improved methods for creating the dots, also known as semiconductor nanocrystals, is the third winner.
The crystals are only a few nanometers across, or roughly one thousandth the width of a human hair, and are formed of substances like lead sulphide or cadmium selenide. The crystals are so small that they exhibit behaviours halfway between those of regular, bigger materials manufactured from the same chemicals and those of individual atoms, which are governed by the laws of quantum physics.
Because electrons in quantum dots can only occupy discrete energy levels, when stimulated, they will only emit light at particular wavelengths, depending on the crystal’s features. The dots are already employed in the creation of lights, lasers, and TV display screens. They are also utilised in medical research, for example, to assist in the visualisation of various structural variations inside living tissues.