APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Lasers and environmental sensors
- All-optical memory and computing devices
- Magnetic, quantum, and electronic devices
- Optical imaging for biomedical research
- Air stable
- Tunable ultra-low phonon energies
- Can be synthesized with much smaller diameters and much narrower size distributions compared to other similar lead halide materials
Nanomaterials enable precise control over physical and chemical characteristics in optical, magnetic, quantum, and electronic devices, thereby leading to high performance and efficiency. However, a fundamental limitation in the application of nanomaterials is the undesired quenching or relaxation of their excited states through interactions with phonons. New classes of nanomaterials with ultra-low phonon energies can prevent or minimize their loss of energy, leading to their improved performance and efficiency in various applications.
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have developed a novel class of low-phonon-energy nanoparticles made from lanthanide-doped alkali metal halides. This invention includes synthetic methods for the size-controlled synthesis and doping of these nanoparticles and a method to tune phonon energies by mixing halide anions.
Unlike many other low-phonon energy nanoparticles, these lanthanide doped nanoparticles are environmentally stable, can be efficiently doped with lighter lanthanides, and have ultra-low phonon energies which can be tuned. These ultra-low phonon energies are more than 2 times lower than those of state-of-the-art upconverting nanoparticles, and enable deeply sub-wavelength resolution imaging (<100 nm). The ability to fine tune these phonon energies allows for optimization of properties such as quantum yield, spectral/color purity, lifetime, photon avalanching threshold, and optical bistability thresholds, hysteresis widths, and coherence times. Additionally, compared to other similar lead halide materials, these particles can be synthesized with much smaller diameters and much narrower size distributions, which are required for biological imaging and nanometer-precision device manufacturing.
P. James Schuck
Available for licensing or collaborative research