Standing 5µm high and just 620 nm wide , these nanopillars could one day make up the pixels in super-high-resolution displays in new virtual and augmented reality technologies. A research team led by Jaeyeon Pyo and Seung Kwon Seol of the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute created these tiny towers (top, tilted-view scanning electron micrograph; bottom, photoluminescence image) using polystyrene mixed with quantum dots, which are microscopic spheres that are just a few nanometers wide. Quantum dots are used to make the structures glow in unique colors when they’re hit with UV light. Dots with zinc cadmium selenide cores inside zinc sulfide shells create the blue glow. The red and green colors come from particles composed of cadmium selenide inside the same type of shell—zinc sulfide. The difference between the colors comes from the particles’ sizes; changing the diameter by only a nanometer or two leads to very different colors, making these materials good candidates for manufacturing the small colorful pixels needed for high-resolution displays.
Credit: Courtesy of Jaeyeon Pyo. Read the paper here (ACS Nano 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.0c04075).
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