Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Chemical treatment improves quantum dot lasers

In new research, the nanometer-sized dots are being doctored, or “doped,” with additional electrons, a treatment that nudges the dots ever closer to producing the desired laser light with less stimulation and energy loss.
October 23, 2017
Tiny crystals—quantum dots—are clusters of atoms that emit bright multi-colored light.

Tiny crystals—quantum dots—are clusters of atoms that emit bright multi-colored light. These nanoparticles are made of semiconductor materials—the foundation of electronics—and Los Alamos researchers figured out how to control their energies to make them useful for creating novel devices and increase efficiency in electronics and solar applications. Different-sized particles glow differently, a benefit for use in biological research that use colors as markers to pinpoint what is happening where.

Chemical treatment improves quantum dot lasers

One of the secrets to making tiny laser devices such as ophthalmic surgery scalpels work even more efficiently is the use of tiny semiconductor particles, called quantum dots. In new research by Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Nanotech Team, the nanometer-sized dots are being doctored, or “doped,” with additional electrons, a treatment that nudges the dots ever closer to producing the desired laser light with less stimulation and energy loss.

“When we properly tailor the compositional profile within the particles during their fabrication, and then inject two or more electrons in each dot, they become more able to emit laser light. Importantly, they require considerably less power to initiate the lasing action,” said Victor Klimov, leader of the Nanotech team.

This story first appeared in Huffington Post.


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