Precision Graphene Quantum Dots Made using DiamondCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: May 18, 2012 07:03PM
Two materials that may be very influential in the future of technology are graphene and quantum dots. Both of these materials have special properties that can be controlled by manipulating their size and shape. The characteristics of a sheet of pure graphene are defined by its edges and quantum dots have their optical properties defined by their size. Obviously then, there has to be a way to precisely control the creation of graphene quantum dots, which researchers at Kansas State University have achieved.
The researchers use a diamond knife to cut apart a piece of graphite into graphite nanoblocks. These nanoblocks are then exfoliated to create ultrasmall sheets of graphene of specific size and shape. This is not the first method to make graphene quantum dots, but it is more efficient than others as it can create large quantities of the dots with controlled structures.
This research could lead to many developments in electronics and optoelectronics, by making graphene quantum dots so accessible to other researchers, and eventually the consumer. Quantum dots can be used in communication systems as a laser-light source, in solar panels as the photoelectric element, and in displays as the sub-pixels, to list just a few examples.