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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2023

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2023 to Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimo for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots.

The Nobel Prize rewards the discovery and development of quantum dots, nanoparticles so tiny that their size determines their properties. These smallest components of nanotechnology now spread their light from televisions and LED lamps, and can also guide surgeons when they remove tumor tissue, among many other things, describes the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

So small that their properties are determined by quantum phenomena

The Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2023 have succeeded in producing particles so small that their properties are determined by quantum phenomena. The particles, which are called quantum dots, are now of great importance in nanotechnology.

“Quantum dots have many fascinating and unusual properties. Importantly, they have different colous depending on their size,” says Johan Åqvist, Chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, in the press release.

 

In the early 1980s, Alexei Ekimov succeeded in creating size-dependent quantum effects in colored glass. The color came from nanoparticles of copper chloride and Ekimov demonstrated that the particle size affected the color of the glass via quantum effects.

A few years later, Louis Brus was the first scientist in the world to prove size-dependent quantum effects in particles floating freely in a fluid.

In 1993, Moungi Bawendi revolutionised the chemical production of quantum dots, resulting in almost perfect particles. This high quality was necessary for them to be utilised in applications.

Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimo

Moungi G. Bawendi, born 1961 in Paris, France. PhD 1988 from University of Chicago, IL, USA. Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA.

Louis E. Brus, born 1943 in Cleveland, OH, USA. PhD 1969 from Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. Professor at Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Alexei I. Ekimov, born 1945 in the former USSR. PhD 1974 from Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute, Saint Petersburg, Russia. Formerly Chief Scientist at Nanocrystals Technology Inc., New York, NY, USA.

Applications

Quantum dots now illuminate computer monitors and television screens based on QLED technology. They also add nuance to the light of some LED lamps, and biochemists and doctors use them to map biological tissue.

Biochemists and doctors use them to map biological tissue.”

Researchers believe that in the future they could contribute to flexible electronics, tiny sensors, thinner solar cells and encrypted quantum communication – so we have just started exploring the potential of these tiny particles, writes the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Featured illustration of Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus and Alexei Ekimov: Niklas Elmehed © Nobel Prize Outreach 

 

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