Donegans Microcavities: quantum dots emitting light in green and red
Scientists have successfully produced the most efficient light bulb ever – but on the microscopic scale. Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin have discovered a technique which significantly improves the output of light from quantum dots, and also allows their light to be focussed and manipulated easily. Their findings are published today in the Institute of Physics journal Semiconductor Science and Technology.
Dr Yuri Rakovich and Dr John Donegan from Trinity College, Dublin working with researchers at the universities of Hamburg and Munich, have successfully placed quantum dots (the most efficient light-bulb in the world) onto a tiny polymer sphere.
Scientists have known for some time that quantum dots (tiny particles made from certain semiconducting materials) have numerous applications as they are capable of producing light without wasting any energy as heat. They are the basic unit of quantum computers – computers around 10,000 times faster that the fastest computer currently in use. John Donegan’s team have found that they can make quantum dots more efficient than ever. By embedding quantum dots on the surface of a microsphere they can enhance the output of light from these quantum dots by a factor of 20 and - because these structures are spherical - they allow the light emitted from the quantum dots to be focussed into a fine beam which can be moved around easily by the researcher.
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