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Publication in “Nature Nanotechnology” Journal

Researchers Use Magnetic Nanoplatelets for Efficient Production of Light

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Electron micrograph of nanoplatelets. © Experimentelle Physik 2​/​TU Dort­mund
Electron micrograph of nanoplatelets. Their effective thickness is only about two billionths of a meter; in the plane they are ten times larger.

Nanoplatelets are chemical systems that emit light and can be used, for example, in light diodes. Together with in­ter­na­tio­nal colleagues, researchers at TU Dort­mund University have succeeded in turning the platelets into powerful magnets, through which the properties of the light emitted by the nanoplatelets can be controlled highly accurately. The team published its results this week in the renowned journal “Nature Nanotechnology”.

In the past years, a new class of systems has been developed which are chemically relatively easy to synthesize – nanoplatelets. These are very flat structures that are only a few billionths of a meter thick but have a far greater spread in the plane. The result is that electric current can flow more or less freely in the plane, but vertically not at all.

The special thing about such structures is that they radiate a very bright light when such an electric current is introduced. This is why the intention is to use them in future in light diodes. In addition, the nanoplatelets can be produced in a very energy-efficient way from environmentally compatible materials. By selecting specific materials for the platelets and their thickness, it is even possible to vary the color of the light emitted.

However, to date only little research has been conducted into the influence of the nanoplatelets’ surface on the light. A research team led by Associate Professor Dmitri Yakovlev from the Department of Experimental Physics 2 of TU Dort­mund University has now succeeded – in cooperation with colleagues from Russia, France, Belgium and Italy – in turning nanoplatelets, which are in fact non-magnetic, into powerful magnets. To achieve this, they used the surfaces on which chemically unbound charges are located. This magnetism can be used to set various properties of the light emissions from the nanoplatelets very precisely – including the speed with which the light is emitted and the polarization, i.e., the direction, in which the light wave oscillates. When producing the nanoplatelets, the surfaces have to be cut to size accordingly. The in­ter­na­tio­nal research team published its results at the end of January in the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology

Department of Experimental Physics 2 of TU Dort­mund University

Article in Nature Nanotechnology 

 

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