1 Nature 2005 Vol: 436(7047):32-33. DOI: 10.1038/436032a

Solid-state physics: doping the undopable.

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Figures
FIGURE 1. Nanoscale doping.

Semiconductor nanocrystals such as those investigated by Erwin et al.1 can be engineered at the microscopic scale by the incorporation of impurities (doping). The main image is a ball-and-stick representation of cadmium selenide nanoparticles immersed in solution; the inset shows details of the surface structure interacting with model surfactants and with an impurity (purple sphere). Erwin et al. show that the incorporation of the impurity in a nanocrystal during growth is possible, but depends on the strength of its binding with surface atoms.
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References
  1. Erwin, S. C. et al. Nature 436, 91-94 (2005) , .
    • . . . Almost a hundred years after the construction of the first 'bulk'(macroscopic) semiconductor device, Erwin et al. (Doping semiconductor nanocrystals)1 present a mechanism to control the inclusion of transition-metal impurities in semiconductor nanocrystals — impurity inclusion is the process known as doping . . .
    • . . . Erwin et al.1 suggest that some of the difficulties encountered in nanodoping are due to the fact that the mechanisms of impurity incorporation in bulk materials and at the nanoscale are profoundly different . . .
    • . . . Confirmation that, at least in the case of II–VI nanocrystals, the surface binding energy is indeed the protagonist in the incorporation of impurities comes from a specific experiment1 that nicely shows the progress made in the field of nanoscale manipulation . . .
    • . . . Using an appropriate core seed, Erwin et al.1 grew a cadmium selenide (CdSe) shell with the desired lattice structure (Fig. 1) — a cubic lattice with a zinc blende structure, rather than the hexagonal lattice of the more usually adopted wurtzite structure . . .
    • . . . Semiconductor nanocrystals such as those investigated by Erwin et al.1 can be engineered at the microscopic scale by the incorporation of impurities (doping) . . .
  2. Rossetti, R. & Brus, L. J. Phys. Chem. 86, 172-177 (1982) , .
    • . . . This effect was discovered more than 20 years ago2, 3, almost simultaneously by groups in the United States and Russia working respectively on lead sulphide and cadmium sulphide . . .
  3. Efros, Al. L. Fiz. Tekh. Poluprovodn. 16, 1209-1214 (1982); Sov. Phys. Semicond. 16, 772-775 (1982) , .
    • . . . This effect was discovered more than 20 years ago2, 3, almost simultaneously by groups in the United States and Russia working respectively on lead sulphide and cadmium sulphide . . .
  4. Feynman, R. Link , .
    • . . . Producing new materials 'atom by atom' is a revolution anticipated by Richard Feynman almost 50 years ago4 that is still in the making and represents a highly active field of interdisciplinary research. . . .
  5. Yu, D. , Philippe, W. & Guyot-Sionnest, P. Science 300, 1277-1280 (2003) , .
    • . . . Nevertheless, there has been significant progress in recent years in doping II–VI nanocrystal solids and free-standing clusters5, 6. . . .
  6. Raola, O. E. & Strouse, G. F. Nano Lett. 2, 1443-1447 (2002) , .
    • . . . Nevertheless, there has been significant progress in recent years in doping II–VI nanocrystal solids and free-standing clusters5, 6. . . .
  7. Puzder, A. et al. Nano Lett. 4, 2361-2365 (2004) , .
    • . . . Binding energies between the nanocrystal and surfactants have also been found7 to play a key role in determining the shape of CdSe nanostructures, in particular whether they are rods or spheres . . .
  8. Huang, F. & Banfield, J. F. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127, 4523-4529 (2005) , .
    • . . . Examples are phase transformations8, the optical absorption and emission of group IV nanostructures, and the field of nanomechanics . . .
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