Quantum dots (QDs) are man-made nanoscale crystals that that can transport electrons. When UV light hits these semiconducting nanoparticles, they can emit light of various colors. These artificial semiconductor nanoparticles that have found applications in composites, solar cells and fluorescent biological labels.
Nanoparticles of semiconductors – quantum dots – were theorized in the 1970s and initially created in the early 1980s. If semiconductor particles are made small enough, quantum effects come into play, which limit the energies at which electrons and holes (the absence of an electron) can exist in the particles. As energy is related to wavelength (or color), this means that the optical properties of the particle can be finely tuned depending on its size. Thus, particles can be made to emit or absorb specific wavelengths (colors) of light, merely by controlling their size.
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