If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Chemistry In Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures: Nanopixels

by Manny I. Fox Morone
March 17, 2021

A black and white image that shows a series of pillar-shaped structures standing up and arranged so that they form the shape of the letters RGB. Below them is a color image where the pillars forming the letters show glow red, green, and blue corresponding to which letter the pillar is part of.
Credit: Courtesy of Jaeyeon Pyo

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).

Do science. Take pictures. Win money. Enter our photo contest here.

Click here to see more Chemistry in Pictures.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.