Semiconductor Dots

The Seven Worlds

Quantum Dots: Applications for Artificial Atoms Expanding
By Lynn Savage, Feb 2011

Quantum dots, also known as semiconductor artificial atoms, have existed for several years now, and their use keeps on expanding. Primarily used as substitutes for dyes in fluorescence imaging, their propensity for being highly tunable emitters that resist photobleaching represents only a small fraction of their benefits.

Commonly but not always comprising cores of cadmium selenide with a coating of zinc sulfide, quantum dots are perhaps best known for the tunability of their emission wavelength, once excited by an external light source: Change the size of the particle, get a specific wavelength in return. Early research into the properties and potential uses for quantum dots kept them in solutions, and then later brought into proximity with a variety of other particles. This led to their nearly ubiquitous use as donors in Förster’s resonance energy transfer (FRET), a renowned…

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