2023 Chemistry Nobel Prize

2023 Chemistry Nobel Prize

Why In News?

  • Recently the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots, which are tiny particles with unique optical properties due to their small size. This award is given to Maungi ji. Presented to Bawendi, Lewis E. Bruce and Alexey I. Ekimov. These nanoparticles are widely used in fields like electronics, advanced surgery and quantum computing.

2023 Chemistry Nobel PrizeIn terms of quantum dots: 

  • Quantum dots (QDs) are man-made nanoscale crystals that exhibit unique optical and electronic properties, including the ability to transport electrons and emit different colors of light when exposed to UV light.
  • These artificially synthesized semiconductor nanoparticles have a wide range of potential applications, including use in composites, solar cells, fluorescent biological labeling, displays, lighting, and medical imaging.
  • These were first discovered in

Invention:

  • Their study showed that, electrons can absorb energy and emit light of a certain color depending on the size of the quantum dot.
  • When semiconductor particles are made small enough, they exhibit quantum effects, which restrict the energies at which electrons and holes (the absence of electrons) can exist within the particle.
  • Since energy is linked to wavelength, the resulting optical properties of the particle can be tuned depending on its size.
  • By controlling the size of the particle, it can be made to emit or absorb specific wavelengths (colors) of light.

About Nobel Laureate Research: 

Dr. Ekimov:-

  • In the early 1980s, Dr. Ekimov succeeded in creating size-dependent quantum effects in colored glass.
  • From 1979, he studied the properties of glasses that were colored with copper chloride and heated to high temperatures and then cooled.
  • He found that different methods of preparing this glass varied in the way it absorbed light.

Dr. Bruce :-        

  • In 1983, Dr. Bruce and his colleagues went one step further and succeeded in preparing similar crystals in liquid solution instead of glass.
  • This allowed researchers to better observe and study changes in the crystals.

Dr. Bwendi:-

  • Finally, in 1993, Dr. Bawendi developed a technique for making these strange crystals with well-defined quantum points with high optical quality.
  • The process began by adding some substance to a hot solvent and then heating the solution.
  • The nanocrystals began to take shape spontaneously, and larger particles formed when the solution was heated for longer periods of time.

Other important facts regarding quantum dots:

  • Today, one of the simplest applications of quantum dots is to illuminate computer monitors and television screens.
  • Nanoscale-sized quantum dots are also used by biochemists to map biological tissues.
  • Quantum dots are also used in photovoltaic cells to improve absorption and efficiency in converting solar light into electricity.

Source – The Hindu

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