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Nobel Prize of Chemistry awarded for discovery of Quantum Dots

Three researchers who discover and create quantum dots have been given the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Introduction

Three researchers who worked to find and improve quantum dots—used in LED lights, TV screens, and by surgeons to remove cancerous tissue—have been given the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The Nobel Committee for Chemistry praised Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus, and Alexei Ekimov as “pioneers in the exploration of the nanoworld” on Wednesday in Stockholm, Sweden, where the award was revealed. “Nobody believed you could ever genuinely manufacture such small particles for a very long time. However, this year’s laureates were successful, according to committee chair Johan Aqvist.

Chemistry Committee

At the announcement ceremony, Heiner Linke, a member of the chemistry committee, discussed what made the laureates’ work so groundbreaking. The fundamental characteristic of quantum dots is that their attributes, such as colour, may be changed simply by varying their size. This is totally out of the ordinary,” Linke stated. Imagine that you wish to dye T-shirts in various colours, such as red, green, yellow, and blue. You would utilise a different chemical for each of these hues. Chemistry is all about different atoms in different constellations giving you different colours, he explained.

Nanotechnology

With the help of quantum dots. Which were made possible by scientists’ work in nanotechnology. We are able to “use precisely the same atoms in the same constellations and just change the size, how many of the atoms you have, and get new colours and new other properties.”

Noble Winners

Both Brus and Bawendi are Americans; Brus is an emeritus professor at Columbia University and Bawendi is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Russian-born Ekimov works for the New York-based Nanocrystals Technology Inc. Bawendi, who was born in France, received a call in the wee hours of the morning from Stockholm announcing that he is one of the 2023 Chemistry Prize winners. He said at the press conference that he was “very surprised, sleepy, shocked, unexpected and very honoured”. And that he would teach his MIT class at 9 a.m. to celebrate his victory.

New World of Color

In the “nanoworld,” dimensions of matter are first expressed in millionths of a millimetre. At this point, unusual phenomena known as “quantum effects” begin to appear. Just a few thousand atoms make up quantum dots. One quantum dot is as big as the Earth is to a football in terms of size. A particular colour is emitted by quantum dots when light passes through them. The size of the dots affects this and can be adjusted. While the smallest dots flash green or blue, the larger ones glow red. The colour of the particle can be altered throughout the colour wheel’s spectrum by even the smallest changes in particle size.

Due to the work of the laureates, scientists are now able to take advantage of some of the qualities of the nanoworld. Quantum dots may be found in homes and operating rooms all over the world. Since they consume less energy to operate and provide more accurate. And brilliant colours than regular LCD screens, they are currently a common feature in TVs.

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