Daily News Analysis

Quantum Dots (QDs)

1st April, 2021 Environment

Context: INSPIRE Faculty fellow modifying tiny dots for fabricating optical materials useful for optical sensors, light-emitting purposes, energy conversion & composites

  • These tiny nanoscale crystals when hit by ultraviolet light, emits light of multiple colours.
  • The recipient of the INSPIRE Faculty fellowship is using chemical reactions to modify the surface of these nanoscale crystals called quantum dots (QDs) for fabricating optical materials that can have sustainable applications in optical sensors, light-emitting usages, composites and fluorescent biological labels.
  • Chemically modifying the surface of QDs can be an innovative pathway to alter their optical features and making newer optical materials, which are useful for fabricating white light-emitting (WLE) materials, ratiometric sensors for detecting disease responsive molecules or environmental pollutants, photocatalysts (for H2 production) and imaging of cancerous cells.
  • Chemically modified QDs could be used for ratiometric tracing of in vitro pH, detection of amino acid and vitamin B12, developing advanced WLE materials that can emit day-bright light, capability to image cancerous cells and packaging of enzymes to enhance their activity.

Quantum dots (QDs)

  • These are man-made nanoscale crystals that that can transport electrons.
  • When UV light hits these semiconducting nanoparticles, they can emit light of various colors.
  • These artificial semiconductor nanoparticles that have found applications in composites, solar cells and fluorescent biological labels.