LOS ALAMOS, N.M., January 10, 2019--Intentionally "squashing" colloidal quantum dots during chemical synthesis creates dots capable of stable, "blink-free" light emission that is fully comparable with the light produced by dots made with more complex processes.

New research at Los Alamos National Laboratory suggests that the strained colloidal quantum dots represent a viable alternative to presently employed nanoscale light sources, and they deserve exploration as single-particle, nanoscale light sources for optical "quantum" circuits, ultrasensitive sensors, and medical diagnostics.

"In addition to exhibiting greatly improved performance over traditional produced quantum dots, these new strained dots could offer unprecedented flexibility in manipulating their emission color, in combination with the unusually narrow, 'subthermal' linewidth," said Victor Klimov, lead Los Alamos researcher on the project.

"The squashed dots also show compatibility with virtually any substrate or embedding medium as well as various chemical and biological environments."

The new colloidal processing techniques allow for preparation of virtually ideal quantum-dot emitters with nearly 100 percent emission quantum yields shown for a wide range of visible, infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths.

The next frontier is exploration of colloidal quantum dots as single-particle, nanoscale light sources.

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