Science 3 min read

Researchers Discover Method of Reducing Cost of Quantum Dots

With this new process, creating quantum dots could become easier than ever. ¦ Alexey Godzenko /

With this new process, creating quantum dots could become easier than ever. ¦ Alexey Godzenko /

Researchers at North Carolina State University recently developed a new microfluidic system for synthesizing perovskite quantum dots.

According to reports, the technique could not only reduce the cost of manufacturing quantum dots; the system could also be tuned on demand to any color while allowing real-time process monitoring for ensured quality control.

In a statement, Milad Abolhasani, a co-author of the study from NCU explained:

“We call this system the Nanocrystal (NC) Factory, and it builds on the NanoRobo microfluidic platform that we unveiled in 2017

Not only can we create the QDs in any color using a continuous manufacturing approach, but the NC Factory system is highly modular.”

Abolhasani claimed that if the Nanocrystal Factory is used together with continuous process monitoring, modifications can be made if needed. This eliminates the batch-to-batch variation which usually causes problems during the traditional manufacturing of QD.

“Additionally, the chemistry we have developed in this work allows the perovskite QD processing to take place at room temperature.”

Quantum Dots

Quantum dots are nano-semiconductor particles which are key components of nanotechnology. Their optoelectric properties can change based on their size and shape.

For instance, larger QDs, which usually measure five to six nanometers in diameter, have longer wavelengths and have colors like orange and red. Smaller QDs of about two to three nanometers in diameter emit shorter wavelengths and yield colors like green and blue.

QDs have high tunable properties and have many potential applications like solar cells, LEDs, transistors, diode lasers, and quantum computing.

However, despite its many benefits, manufacturing QDs are costly. A problem that Abolhasani and his colleagues want to solve.

The NC Factory system reportedly has three plug and play modules. One of the modules is used to expedite the mixing of quantum dots and halide salts to improve product quality. The synthesize QDs are then monitored in situ using another module called NanoRobo.

Milad Abolhasani went on to say:

“From a scientific standpoint, the NC Factory system allowed us to discover that this halide exchange process takes place in three stages.

That’s very important for better understanding the reaction mechanism. But the system can also impact practical issues related to quantum dot applications and manufacturing.”

According to the researchers, the NC Factory system needs less human resources for it to work continuously. This could cut the cost of production by up to 50 percent while preserving the quality of the quantum dots.

Read More: New Graphene Quantum Dots Structure Discovered By Researchers

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Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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