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: 'Atomic chicken-wire' is key to faster DNA sequencing

Related Stories

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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

'Atomic chicken-wire' is key to faster DNA sequencing

2 hours ago

An unusual and very exciting form of carbon - that can be created by drawing on paper- looks to hold the key to real-time, high throughput DNA sequencing, a technique that would revolutionise medical research ...

Chemists make new silicon-based nanomaterials

Mar 26, 2015

Chemists from Brown University have found a way to make new 2-D, graphene-like semiconducting nanomaterials using an old standby of the semiconductor world: silicon.

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.