Thursday, February 10, 2011

US Patent 7883995 - Forming stable functionalized nanoparticles

The presence of oxygen can reduce the luminous efficiency of silicon nanocrystals used as quantum dots. This patent discloses a method of forming passivated quantum dots for applications such as optical switching devices, photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes, lasers, and optical frequency doublers, and as biological markers. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of forming stable functionalized nanoparticles, comprising

a) providing a first material;

b) providing a reactive medium; and

c) reducing, in the reactive medium, the first material to particles having dimensions of no greater than 100 nm in size, the reactive medium functionalizing the particles in the first material as the particles are formed to provide stable functionalized nanoparticles.