Jul 16, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Scientists Discover The Ability to Determine Semiconductor Nanocrystals with Optical Crystallography Method

May 20, 2017 10:45 AM EDT

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Developing semiconductor nanocrystals is now easier with the new optical crystallography method. Scientists have found the first significant examples of the much simpler method to develop it.

The current bottleneck in producing semiconductor nanocrystals is the need to determine the crystal types using the X-ray techniques. This phase of development is a very slow and painstaking process and required an expensive equipment for the X-ray. However, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have recently found the way to determine the crystal type using optics.

This method enhances the process to develop the semiconductor nanocrystals, according to the official press release from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The optical crystallography is the method to identify how the crystal by observing how these crystals absorb light. The research was led by the assistant professor of the Department of Bioengineering at the UIUC, Andrew M. Smith.

“This new ability eliminates the need for slow and expensive X-ray equipment," Professor Smith said about the new process to develop the semiconductor nanocrystals. "These theoretical and experimental insights provide simple and accurate analysis for liquid-dispersed nanomaterials."

In this advanced research, the lead author, Sung Jun Lim is a postdoctoral fellow in professor Smith's research group. The team has published the paper of the research in the report titled “Optical Determination of Crystal Phase in Semiconductor Nanocrystals," in the journal Nature Communications. The optical crystallography is also proven to be more accurate for structural characterization of the semiconductor nanocrystals than traditional X-ray method.

Semiconductor nanocrystals are the very important in modern technology, as it has a very wide range of application, from biomedical imaging, light-emitting devices, and consumer electronics. These type of nanocrystals have the unique optical properties, as the result from the type of crystals that they were composed and they the 10 nanometers dimension, also known as quantum dots. Watch the direct observation of the energy transfer from the semiconductor nanocrystals below:

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