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Spire Awarded Quantum-Dot Patent
Feb 2008
Spire Corp. of Bedford, Mass., a provider of optoelectronic, biomedical and solar products, announced it has been awarded US Patent Number 7,306,963 entitled “Precision Synthesis of Quantum Dot Nanostructures for Fluorescent and Optoelectronic Devices.” The patent describes a method for designing and synthesizing quantum dot nanoparticles with improved uniformity and size with the potential to create new high efficiency, low-cost solar cells and other optoelectronic devices such as lasers, LEDs, and photodetectors. Their extremely small size also makes the semiconductor structures useful for medical assays, diagnostic systems, and therapeutic compounds, or to control the optical properties of biomarkers for detecting cancer. Quantum dots are nanometer-sized (about one 25-millionth of an inch), and when exposed to light at predetermined wavelengths, they can generate free electrons and create an electrical current. “The technique we conceived for fabricating the quantum dots involves using compound semiconductor technology developed at Spire Semiconductor, Spire’s solar cell manufacturing operation,” said Kurt J. Linden, PhD, senior scientist at Spire. “It involves the synthesis of free-standing nanoparticles by using a specially designed release layer that separates uniformly sized nanoparticles from gallium arsenide (GaAs) thin films that are grown in our existing GaAs wafer fabrication systems. Such techniques are expected to achieve large-scale volumes of active nanostructures with a highly consistent size.”

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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