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U-M physicists create first atomic-scale map of quantum dots
Date:9/29/2009

rgonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source. The beam acts like an X-ray microscope to reveal details about the quantum dot's structure. Because X-rays have very short wavelengths, they can be used to create super-high-resolution maps.

"We're measuring the position and the chemical makeup of individual pieces of a quantum dot at a resolution of one-hundredth of a nanometer," Clarke said. "So it's incredibly high resolution."

A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.

The availability of atomic-scale maps will quicken progress in the field of directed assembly. That, in turn, will lead to new technologies based on quantum dots. The dots have already been used to make highly efficient lasers and sensors, and they might help make quantum computers a reality, Clarke said.

"Atomic-scale mapping provides information that is essential if you're going to have controlled fabrication of quantum dots," Clarke said. "To make dots with a specific set of characteristics or a certain behavior, you have to know where everything is, so that you can place the atoms optimally. Knowing what you've got is the most important thing of all."


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Contact: Jim Erickson
ericksn@umich.edu
734-647-1842
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert  

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