Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded for Breakthroughs in Quantum Dots

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded for Breakthroughs in Quantum Dots
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STOCKHOLM — The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been granted to three distinguished scientists for their groundbreaking contributions to the development of quantum dots, an innovation with far-reaching applications in various fields.

Quantum dots, minuscule crystals measuring only a few millionths of a millimeter, have garnered widespread attention for their ability to emit specific colors of light when energized. These remarkable particles have found their way into QLED television displays, medical imaging technology, cancer drug targeting, and solar panels.

The Nobel Prize recipients, Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus, and Alexei I. Ekimov, will collectively receive the esteemed award and a prize sum of 11 million Swedish krona (approximately £824,000).

Notably, the announcement of their names seemed to have been inadvertently disclosed hours before the official declaration by Sweden’s Royal Academy of Sciences.

Upon learning of his Nobel Prize, Moungi G. Bawendi expressed his astonishment and gratitude, saying, “It’s quite an honor.” He described his emotions as a mix of surprise, sleepiness, shock, and immense honor, noting that he received the news when the Academy contacted him.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded for Breakthroughs in Quantum Dots
A tablet shows this year’s laureates US Chemist Moungi Bawendi, US Chemist Louis Brus and Russian physicist Alexei Ekimov during the announcement of the winners of the 2023 Nobel Prize in chemistry at Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on October 4, 2023. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)

Quantum dots, due to their minute size, possess the unique characteristic of emitting light of different colors depending on their precise dimensions. Smaller quantum dots emit blue light, while larger ones emit yellow and red hues.

The Royal Academy of Sciences highlighted the remarkable achievement of this year’s laureates, noting, “For a long time, nobody thought you could make such small particles,” but the three Nobel laureates managed to overcome this challenge.

Among the recipients, Russian physicist Alexei I. Ekimov is credited with the initial discovery of quantum dots in the 1980s. US chemist Louis E. Brus subsequently recognized the potential for developing these crystals while suspended in a fluid medium.

Moungi G. Bawendi, originally from Paris, contributed significantly by devising a method for producing quantum dots in a highly controlled manner, facilitating their widespread utilization.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences emphasized the immense potential of quantum dots, stating that they are “bringing the greatest benefit to humankind.” Researchers believe that these tiny particles hold the promise of revolutionizing various fields, including flexible electronics, miniature sensors, thinner solar cells, and secure quantum communication.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry recognizes the pivotal role played by these scientists in advancing our understanding of quantum dots and harnessing their potential to transform diverse industries.

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