Wednesday, June 06, 2007

US Patent 7227177 - Room temperature quantum confinement in nanocrystal

Doping of nanostructured materials is important if they are ever to be used to form diode, transistor, or various other electronic structures based on semiconductor physics. This patent is from a company called Arch Development (which appears to be some type of venture capital fund based on Google searching) and presents some seemingly very broad claims to semiconductor nanocrystals (aka quantum dots) used in photovoltaics. Apparently, based on the specification, the inventors teach using electrons instead of n-type dopant atoms (P, As, Sb)to dope quantum dots and allege that quantum dots of the prior art only include electrons in a trapped state rather than in a "quantum confined state at room temperature" as claimed. Claim 1 reads:

1. A photovoltaic device, comprising: a semiconductor nanocrystal for the photovoltaic device, wherein said nanocrystal is doped with an electron, such that the electron is in a quantum confined state at room temperature and in the absence of an applied electric potential.

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