Silicon wafers have long been the go-to for all things electronic. First appearing in the ‘50s, they quickly made it as THE connectors, basically singlehandedly kickstarting the silicon revolution. A team of researchers from the Cornell University have discovered something they consider to be the next big step in quantum electronics. They are quite certain of the answer to the question “Are Quantum Dots the Silicon Wafers of the Future?”.
How to make a quantum dot
By using a newly developed technique – a series of chemical processes – to synthesize larger crystals from lead-selenium nanocrystals, the team proceeded to then fuse them together and create a very impressive and unique 2D superstructure.
While nanocrystals were previously held together in substrate with the help of additional materials, the new and improved quantum dot solids feature no other intermediary materials – they’re just grown that way. This allows for plenty of new uses.
The way they are developed allows researchers to electronically couple quantum dots, which is a very important part of quantum electronics. They will also automatically use the superstructure material as an electronic structure that is very easy to control.
With all the qualities named in the previous sub-chapter, the technology hasn’t yet been perfected. Being grown like this, the nanocrystals aren’t exactly uniform, presenting the occasional defect which can at times interrupt the electron wave function.
Despite this fact, the work that the team is doing only helps to push technology in a new and previously not that explored direction. This is mostly because the material has huge potential for developing never before seen optoelectronic devices.
The team behind the new quantum dots is convinced that their breakthrough is going to be just as important for quantum electronics as silicon wafers were for electronic communication systems back in the ‘50s.
Sadly, however, they are also sure that they can’t push it any further with the resources and processes available to them currently. However, if someone were to come with some new technology, perhaps a chemical process, that would most certainly drive the movement further, challenging other researchers to do better than the current team developing the crystals.
With just a little bit of motivation and creativity, we could very well reach new types of unprecedented technology which will in turn make way for newer and more diverse uses of the crystals, eventually perhaps leading to a new technological revolution.
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