Tiny, easy-to-produce particles, called quantum dots, may soon take the place of more expensive single crystal semiconductors in advanced electronics found in solar panels, camera sensors and medical imaging tools.

Although quantum dots have begun to break into the consumer market - in the form of quantum dot TVs - they have been hampered by long-standing uncertainties about their quality.

Now, a new measurement technique developed by researchers at Stanford University may finally dissolve those doubts.

These we can make in large numbers, in flask, in a lab and we've shown they are as good as the best single crystals," said David Hanifi, graduate student in chemistry at Stanford and co-lead author of the paper written about this work, published March 15 in Science.

This work is the result of a collaboration between the labs of Alberto Salleo, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford, and Paul Alivisatos, the Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the University of California, Berkeley, who is a pioneer in quantum dot research and senior author of the paper.

Alivisatos emphasized how the measurement technique could lead to the development of new technologies and materials that require knowing the efficiency of our semiconductors to a painstaking degree.

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