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IBM announces breakthrough in semiconducting nanoparticles

Posted: 27 Jun 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IBM? material? nanoparticles? nanotechnology?

In a joint effort between scientists from Columbia University and the University of New Orleans, IBM has announced a new three-dimensional designer material assembled from two different types of particles only billionths of a meter across.

According to the scientists, designing new materials with otherwise unattainable properties, sometimes referred to as "metamaterials," is one of the promises of nanotechnology. Two-dimensional patterns have previously been created from gold nanoparticles of different sizes and mixtures of gold and silver. Extending this concept to three dimensions with more diverse types of materials demonstrates the ability to bring more materials together than previously recognized.

The scientists chose the materials for the experiments specifically because of their dissimilar, yet complementary properties. Lead selenide is a semiconductor that has applications in infrared detectors and thermal imaging and can be tuned to be more sensitive to specific infrared wavelengths. The other material, magnetic iron oxide, is best known for its use in the coatings for certain magnetic recording media.

The combination of these nanoparticles may reportedly have novel magneto-optical properties as well as properties key to the realization of quantum computing.





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