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.
In 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.