Source: Los Alamos National lab

Los Alamos Researchers have created fundamental electronic building blocks out of quantum dots This could lead to cheaper and more powerful complex electronic devices that can be fabricated in a chemistry laboratory via simple, solution-based techniques, and offer long-sought components for a host of innovative devices.

Quantum dot electronics could make better printable circuits, flexible displays, lab-on-a-chip diagnostics, wearable devices, medical testing, smart implants, and biometrics.

Colloidal semiconductor nanoparticles can be made with chemistry methods without clean rooms. Due to their small size and unique properties directly controlled by quantum mechanics, these particles are dubbed quantum dots. https://6a173f5a3d77ac2568309f10e393a56b.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

A colloidal quantum dot consists of a semiconductor core covered with organic molecules. These properties are attractive for realizing new types of flexible electronic circuits that could be printed onto virtually any surface including plastic, paper, and even human skin. This capability could benefit numerous areas including consumer electronics, security, digital signage and medical diagnostics.

The first quantum dot transistors were demonstrated almost two decades ago. However, integrating complementary n- and p-type devices within the same quantum dot layer remained a long-standing challenge. In addition, most of the efforts in this area have focused on nanocrystals based on lead and cadmium. These elements are highly toxic heavy metals, which greatly limits practical utility of the demonstrated devices.

The new quantum dots are using copper indium selenide (CuInSe2) quantum dots devoid of heavy metals they were able to address both the problem of toxicity and simultaneously achieve straightforward integration of n- and p-transistors in the same quantum dot layer. As a proof of practical utility of the developed approach, they created functional circuits that performed logical operations.

Hyeong Jin Yun, Jaehoon Lim, Jeongkyun Roh, Darren Chi Jin Neo, Matt Law, Victor I. Klimov. Solution-processable integrated CMOS circuits based on colloidal CuInSe2 quantum dots. Nature Communications, 2020; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18932-5