Using quantum dots, researchers create a functioning spectrometer smaller than a smartphone camera

07/03/2015 - 00:00

By Anne Trafton -

Instruments that measure the properties of light, known as spectrometers, are widely used in physical, chemical, and biological research. These devices are usually too large to be portable, but MIT scientists have now shown they can create spectrometers small enough to fit inside a smartphone camera, using tiny semiconductor nanoparticles called quantum dots.

Such devices could be used to diagnose diseases, especially skin conditions, or to detect environmental pollutants and food conditions, says Jie Bao, a former MIT postdoc and the lead author of a paper describing the quantum dot spectrometers in the July 2 issue of Nature.


Ref: A colloidal quantum dot spectrometer. Nature (July 2015) | DOI:10.1038/nature14576