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Quantum dots

Quantum dots are tiny single crystals a few nanometres in diameter made of semiconducting materials. Quantum dots of different sizes fluoresce at different energies due to the quantum confinement effect. Smaller ones emit at higher energy than large ones.

QTrapQTraps combine an antibody with a magnetic bead and a quantum dot.

With research partners including Victoria University of Wellington, University of Otago, University of Otago Medical Schools and Plant and Food Research, we have been researching the use of quantum dots in different applications such as tissue imaging, microfluidics and optical devices:

Quantum dot-based diagnostics

Quantum dots can be used in many different ways for bio-medical diagnosis. The superior stability of quantum dots over organic dyes under  ultraviolet irradiation led to their use as a flourescent stain in vitro and in vivo. We have been using this method to stain animal and plant tissues, either to label certain parts of the tissue or to study the quantum dots’ ability to penetrate into different parts of a plant. Read more >>

Synthesis of core and core-shell quantum dots

We are interested in quantum dots based on the cadmium chalcogenide series and their core shell versions. These quantum dots emit in the visible spectrum. We are also looking at quantum dots based on the selenium and lead chalcogenides, which emit in the near infrared spectrum. Read more >>

Quantum dot composites

Quantum dots can be combined with many different materials and used in a variety of applications. When combined to make a composite with polymers, the resultant florescent properties can be used as a tag or stamp.

Applications include as a film in optical devices or as composites of quantum dots and thin films of materials such as TiO2, ZnS and SnO2, in photovoltaic applications.

We are studying the effect of attachment method on electron transfer between the Quantum Dots and the semi conductors.