Scientists use nanocrystals as dopants

Jan 23, 2007

U.S. scientists discovered that nanocrystals can mimic atoms in solid-state devices by altering their electrical properties, thereby acting as dopants.

Jeffrey Urban and colleagues at IBM's Watson Research Center investigated the electrical properties of films obtained by the aggregation of PbTe and Ag2Te nanocrystals. When comparing the conductivity of films with different proportions of the two constituents, they found that when both types of crystals were present, the conductivity could be up to three orders of magnitude higher than in either of the single-component cases.

Nanocrystal assemblies can be seen as materials in which the nanocrystals -- consisting of thousands of atoms -- act as the basic elements, with the advantage that the structure can be precisely designed.

The researchers said the extension of the nanocrystal-atom analogy to the concept of doping -- the process of adding an impurity to modify electrical properties -- opens unexpected opportunities for the design of solid-state devices based on such aggregates.

The study appears in the current issue of Nature Materials.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Artificial muscles get graphene boost

Related Stories

Perfectly doped quantum dots yield colors to dye for

May 10, 2013

(Phys.org) —Quantum dots are tiny nanocrystals with extraordinary optical and electrical properties with possible uses in dye production, bioimaging, and solar energy production. Researchers at the University ...

Demystifying nanocrystal solar cells

Jan 28, 2015

ETH researchers have developed a comprehensive model to explain how electrons flow inside new types of solar cells made of tiny crystals. The model allows for a better understanding of such cells and may ...

Team develops new superconducting hybrid crystals

Jan 12, 2015

A new type of 'nanowire' crystals that fuses semiconducting and metallic materials on the atomic scale could lay the foundation for future semiconducting electronics. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen ...

Recommended for you

Artificial muscles get graphene boost

12 hours ago

Researchers in South Korea have developed an electrode consisting of a single-atom-thick layer of carbon to help make more durable artificial muscles.

How to make continuous rolls of graphene

May 21, 2015

Graphene is a material with a host of potential applications, including in flexible light sources, solar panels that could be integrated into windows, and membranes to desalinate and purify water. But all ...

Carbon nanothreads from compressed benzene

May 20, 2015

A new carbon nanomaterial – the thinnest possible one-dimensional thread that still retains a diamond-like structure – was created by the controlled, slow compression and decompression of benzene. The ...

Printing 3-D graphene structures for tissue engineering

May 19, 2015

Ever since single-layer graphene burst onto the science scene in 2004, the possibilities for the promising material have seemed nearly endless. With its high electrical conductivity, ability to store energy, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.