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Quantum dots have promising applications in a wide range of fields such as photovoltaics, medicine, and quantum computing. The Center for Applied Nanotechnology (CAN) in Hamburg is making significant advancement in making high-quality quantum dots accessible for research and mass production.
Quantum dots can be defined as nanoscale particles of semiconductor material that are so tiny that quantum effects begin to have a direct impact on the optical, electrical, and magnetic properties of the particles. This has numerous stimulating implications on a larger scale—for instance, fluorescent quantum dots can be engineered to emit various colors based only on their size.
Applications of Quantum Dots
The properties of quantum dots have been explored in labs to quite a great extent; therefore, current research is concentrating on highly challenging applications, or on pushing the technology into the commercial domain.
The fast development places excessive demands on the quality of the nanoparticles—a challenge which CAN is aiming to meet with a continuous-flow production technique for their CANdots® product range.
Daniel Ness from CAN explains the advantages of this method: “Some of our nanoparticle products, including the new Series A nanoparticles with visible-range fluorescence, use our continuous-flow synthetic method. This replaces more conventional batch synthesis, and greatly improves the reproducibility of the product, as well as being much easier to scale to higher production volumes.”
The process is also less dependent on highly trained technicians, as the parameters are easier to control. We are now working on adapting this process for our other CANdots® products, and we have a patent pending on the process itself.
Daniel Ness, CAN
Series A Plus from CAN
CAN’s new product—Series A Plus—includes fluorescent quantum dots composed of CdSe, with applications in single-particle spectroscopy, LEDs and solid-state lighting, and as markers for biological imaging. They were introduced at the 2013 NSTI Nanotech Expo in Washington.
The CANdots® range includes many more kinds of quantum dots and nanocrystals, including Series C NIR/IR emitters based on PbS and Series X rare-earth doped quantum dots with distinctive emission features perfect for tagging and security labeling.
Established in 2005, CAN is a spin-out from the University of Hamburg. CAN focuses on the transfer of its expertise in the manufacture of nanomaterials from research into industry. The center has collaborated with many universities and companies to design and create new nanotechnology products.
At present, CAN is looking for industrial partners to work on expanding their continuous flow nanoparticle production process, specifically for applications in LEDs, photovoltaics, and life sciences.