Ohio University scientists hoping to use quantum dots for the next generation of computers have found a way to make the dots communicate.

"Essentially, the dots talk
to each other," said Ameenah Al-Ahmadi, an OU doctoral student who
published the findings with Professor of Physics Sergio Ulloa.

The dots are tiny, engineered spherical crystals about 5 nanometers
in diameter. An average biological cell, in comparison, has a diameter
of about 1,000 nanometers.

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20030215/a3060_3303.jpgIn the recent study, the scientists became the first to use theoretical models to show how light energy
shining on quantum dots would prompt them to transfer energy in a
"coherent" fashion. They found that when dots are arranged a certain
distance from each other, light waves traveled between the nanocrystals
in a consistent pattern. In previous research, the light’s wavelength
would change or become irregular during the energy exchange, which
creates a breakdown in communication between quantum dots.

The results, say the researchers, suggest there could be a way to
transmit information using light waves, laying the groundwork for a
possible optical quantum computer.

The study appeared in a recent issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters.