A new era in electronics?

Just as the single-crystal silicon wafer forever changed the nature of communication 60 years ago, Cornell researchers,NY, hope their work with quantum dot solids, crystals made out of crystals,can help usher in a new era in electronics.The team has fashioned two-dimensional superstructures out of single-crystal building blocks. Using a pair of chemical processes, the lead-selenium nanocrystals are synthesized into larger crystals, then fused together to form atomically coherent square superlattices. The strong coupling of the nanocrystals leads to formation of energy bands that can be manipulated based on the crystals’ makeup, and could be the first step toward discovering and developing other artificial materials with controllable electronic structure.