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Microfluidics-based quantum dot ‘factory’ tunes colour on-the-go

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

Based on the NanoRobo microfluidic platform they unveiled two years ago, the Nanocrystal (NC) Factory as the authors call it starts with cesium lead bromide perovskite quantum dots and introduces various halide salts to precisely tune their fluorescence color across the entire spectrum of visible light.

Anions in these salts replace the bromine atoms in the green-emitting dots with either iodine atoms (to move toward the red end of the spectrum) or chlorine atoms (to move toward blue).

“Because the NC Factory can precisely control both chemical composition and processing parameters, it can be used to continuously manufacture perovskite quantum dots in any color with the highest quality,” explains corresponding author Milad Abolhasani.

The NC Factory system consists of three “plug and play” modules. The researchers developed a pre-mixing module to expedite the mixing of halide salts and quantum dots, in order to improve product quality. The system also incorporates a velocity sensor that allows users to monitor reaction times accurately. The synthesized QDs are then monitored in situ using the NanoRobo process-monitoring module.


“Not only can we create the QDs in any color using a continuous manufacturing approach, but the NC Factory system is highly modular,” adds Abolhasani. “This means that, coupled with continuous process monitoring, the system allows modifications to be made as needed to eliminate the batch-to-batch variation that can be a significant problem for conventional QD manufacturing techniques. Additionally, the chemistry we have developed in this work allows the perovskite QD processing to take place at room temperature.”

According to Abolhasani, the NC Factory system would require far less labor to operate continuously, and the researcher estimates that the system could cut overall QDs manufacturing costs by at least 50 percent. The novel process is patent pending and the researchers are seeking industrial partners to commercialize the technology.

North Carolina State University – www.ncsu.edu


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