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Nanoworld is fascinating, because it follows a different set of rules than our regular world. Laws of the nanoworld are explained by the laws in physics, where, for example, it is for observed that size reduction of particles to clusters below 1000 atoms, energy states of electrons gradually shift from continuous to discrete, while surface area and chemical reactivity increases drastically. One can prepare quantum dots with unique zero-dimensional structures with a special surface topology and this will enhance certain properties of the quantum dots functionalized products or introduce new features of that products. Therefore, quantum dots can change the very properties of matter by controlling electrons.

Most physical, chemical or biological propeties can be enhanced through the use of nanomaterials in the market today.

Who can take advantage of nano-features, here and today ?

Materials at the nanoscale lie between the quantum effects of atoms and molecules and the bulk properties of materials. It is in this ‘no-man’s-land’ where many physical properties of materials are controlled by phenomena that have their critical dimensions at the nanoscale.

The sophistication of the production processes of the quantum dots has reached the level in the secured laboratory. Just because quantum dots can be made into very small structures does not immediately mean that they have any practical use.

However, the fact that these quantum dots based nanomaterials can be made at this scale gives them the potential to have very interesting properties.

Nanomaterials cover a hugely diverse range of materials : polymers, metals, ceramics, sol-gels, powders, biotech markers, flexible IC and screens, etc.

The definitions of nanoscience and nanotechnology avoided the use of dimensions at all :

  • Nanoscience is the study of phenomena and manipulation of materials at atomic, molecular, and macromolecular scales, where properties differ significantly from those at a larger scale.
  • Nanotechnologies are the design, characterization, production, and application of structures, devices, and systems by controlling shape and size on the nano scale.

Therefore, quantum dots used materials cross the boundary between nanoscience and nanotechnology and link the two areas together.

The use of quantum dots for biological imaging provides researchers and clinicians new and versatile approaches to a range of biomedical challenges. The resistance to photo-bleaching, narrow emission, high energy absorption, and single source excitation all are strong reasons to make quantum dots superior fluorescence labeling agents as opposed to organic dyes. While traditional heavy metal-containing quantum dots (CdSe, CdTe, PbS etc.) have been explored for some time under experimental conditions in biomedical research, diagnostics, and drug discovery.

The advent of heavy metal-free Attonuclei’s functionalized quantum dots opens up new horizon in the use of their unique spectral and colloidal properties for clinical applications, disease detection and therapeutics.

Biomedical applications of quantum dots may include :

  • Microscopy and multiplexed histology,
  • Flow-cytometry,
  • Drug delivery,
  • Printable drugs,
  • Printable diagnostic devices,
  • Photo and X-Ray dynamic therapy,
  • Antibody Labeling,
  •  DNA Labeling,
  •  Fluorescence Resonance energy Transfer (FRET),
  • In vivo& In vitro whole animal and clinical imaging (e.g. angiography),
  • Tissue mapping and demarcation (e.g. sentinel lymph node),
  • Real time detection of intracellular events, signaling, and bio-sensing,
  • Tracking cell migration (e.g. stem cells),
  • Low cost but sensitive point-of-care detection (e.g., lateral flow),
  • Bio-defense,

For example, due to their dimensions, the use of MnIII magnetic nanoparticles for hyperthermia is based on the fact that heat will be produced under an AC magnetic field or a certain radio frequency. Target specific MnIII magnetic nanoparticles make it possible to disperse magnetic particles throughout tumor tissue. Heat produced under an AC magnetic field of sufficient strength and frequency permeates the diseased tissue immediately surrounding the particles leading to the destruction of cancerous cells.

For the final example, silver doped ZnO has the unique property of being a broad antimicrobial agent and is used as a coating for some medical devices. Tests have shown incredibly high bacteriostatic as well as bacteriocidal properties for core/discrete shelled quantum dots.

Our work in quantum dot based solid-state white lighting has the potential to reduce worldwide carbon emissions by reducing electricity consumption.

Solid-state lighting (SSL) refers to a type of lighting that uses semiconductor materials as sources of illumination rather than electrical filaments, plasma (used in arc lamps such as fluorescent lamps), or gas. The typically small mass of a solid-state electronic lighting device provides for greater resistance to shock and vibration compared to brittle glass tubes/bulbs and long, thin filament wires. They also eliminate filament evaporation, potentially increasing the life span of the illumination device.

Energy efficiency of light sources is typically measured in lumens per watt (lm/W), meaning the amount of light produced for each watt of electricity consumed by the light source. This is known as luminous efficacy.

Conventional incandescent light bulbs have a lifespan of around 500 hours, and convert electricity to light at an efficiency of around 10-18 lm/W. This means that most of the power is lost as excess heat.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), often called “energy saving” bulbs, have a lifespan of around 3,000 hours, and convert electricity to light at an efficiency of between 35 and 60 lm/W.

Quantum Dot LEDs have a lifespan of between 25,000 and 50,000 hours (up to 20 years at typical rates of domestic usage) and convert electricity to light at between 30 and 70 lm/W. They turn on instantly, and can be tuned to produce any shade of white light (or any color).

As well as domestic lighting, quantum dot LEDs have an enormous range of potential applications in the public domain where longevity, accessibility (or lack of it) and economy are significant issues, for example in street lighting, vehicular or robotics lighting, and all inorganic QDLED.

Quantum dots are sub-nm to sub-10 nm wide range of spherically formed of semiconductors, which emit different colors depending on their physicochemical composition and size. However, their color is highly controllable, a direct consequence of quantum confinement on the electronic states. Quantum dots are appealing for displays because they can ultimately use one-fifth to one-tenth as much power as LCDs, which require backlights to illuminate their pixels. However, the light emitting organic molecules tend to degrade and are particularly sensitive to humidity and oxidation.

Indeed, quantum dots incorporate the best aspects of both organic and inorganic light emitters. These particles can be dispersed within or between organic (or in some cases inorganic) semiconductor layers and emit light of a specific color when charge carriers are injected. They are more robust than organic molecules and can be tuned to emit light over a larger color gamut but like organic emitters that can be processed over large areas using liquid phase deposition techniques including roll-to-roll process and printing.

In this respect, quantum dots are similar to organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), another display technology, which is used chiefly in computer screens and cell or smart phones. But all inorganic quantum dots LED (Attonuclei also auto-invested for this technology) outdo OLEDs in the purity of the colors that they emit. A typical OLED that glows green also gives aqua and yellowish photons (that) make it look whitish green, so it’ll be more washed out. Quantum dots give a very narrow emission spectrum, so the perception of color coming from them appears to be much richer and sharper.

The impact of nanotechnology in the textile finishing area has brought up innovative finishes as well as new application technique. Particular attention has been paid in making chemical finishing more controllable and more thorough. Nanotechnology not only has exerted its influence in making versatile fiber composites but also has had impact in making upgraded chemical finishes.

Ideally, discrete quantum dots of finishes can be brought individually to designated sites on textile materials in a specific orientation and trajectory through thermodynamic, electrostatic or other technical approaches.

One of the trends in synthesis process is to pursue a “functionalized custom quantum dots” emulsification, through which finishes can be applied to textile material in a more thorough, even and precise manner. Finishes can be emulsified into nano-micelles, made into nano-sols or wrapped in nanocapsules that can adhere to textile substrates more evenly. These advanced finishes set up an unprecedented level of textile performances of stainresistant, hydrophobic, antibacterial, antifungic, anti-static, wrinkle resistant, flame resistant, abrasion resistant and shrink proof abilities, etc..

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At Attonuclei, we’ve formulated ultra stable inks and high temperature resistant paints for security and anti-counterfeiting applications that can be applied to any surface, including paper, plastic or metal. Our inks and paints incorporate quantum dots and nanoscale semiconductor particles, which can be tuned to emit light at specific wavelengths in the visible and infrared portions of the spectra.

Our full line of quantum dot based inks are unique colorants that are used in security inks, fibers, papers, embedded dots, labels, unique fluorescent spectral barcodes, paints, plastics, special effects and tracers, product identification, authentication, dual images, art, crafts and novelty applications. The quantum dot based inks may be applied via conventional screen, flexographic, offset, gravure, and ink jet printing processes while the paints are designed to be sprayed onto any surface.