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New research at Vanderbilt could help make quantum dots the future of superefficient lighting

Posted by on Thursday, August 16, 2012 in News.

Unless you’re in the .05 percent of the population who enjoyed physics in high school, the term “quantum” probably calls to mind James Bond or Scott Bakula. But researchers at Vanderbilt University are working on a project that could bring the word into the everyday vernacular, and perhaps even have a hand in saving the planet.

Quantum dots, which were originally discovered in 1980, are tiny beads of semiconductor material that possess distinctive electronic properties, including the ability to emit various colors of light. In 2005, a team of Vanderbilt chemists — professor Sandra Rosenthal and then-graduate students Michael Bowers and James McBride — accidentally discovered that quantum dots, when paired with blue light from LEDs, produced a warm white light.



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