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Nanocrystal breakthrough promises more versatile lasers, world peace

Darren Murph

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For the longest while, scientists have been flummoxed by the incessant coruscating emitted by individual molecules; no matter their methods, they could never quite seem to overcome a troubling optical quirk known sensibly as "blinking." Thanks to a brilliant crew at the University of Rochester, however, we now understand the basic physics behind the phenomenon, and together with a team from Eastman Kodak, a nanocrystal has been created that can constantly emit light. In theory, the discovery could lead to "dramatically less expensive and more versatile lasers, brighter LED lighting, and biological markers that track how a drug interacts with a cell at a level never before possible." Indeed, one could envision that future displays could be crafted by painting a grid of differently sized nanocrystals onto a flat surface, making even OLED TVs look chubby in comparison. Now, if only we had a good feeling that such a device was destined for a CES in our lifetime...

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