New MIT analysis should enable development of improved color displays and biomedical monitoring systems.
Tiny particles of matter called quantum dots, which emit light with exceptionally pure and bright colors, have found a prominent role as biological markers. In addition, they are realizing their potential in computer and television screens, and have promise in solid-state lighting. New research at MIT could now make these quantum dots even more efficient at delivering precisely tuned colors of light.
These materials, called colloidal semiconductor quantum dot nanocrystals, can emit any color of light, depending on their exact size or composition. But there is some variability in the spread of colors that different batches of nanocrystals produce, and until now there has been no way to tell whether that variability came from within individual particles or from variations among the nanocrystals in a batch.