Copenhagen, Oct 4 (EFE).- Scientists Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus and Alexei Ekimov won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday “for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced.
“The Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2023 have succeeded in producing particles so small that their properties are determined by quantum phenomena. The particles, which are called quantum dots, are now of great importance in nanotechnology,” the academy said.
Quantum dots illuminate computer and television screens and add nuance to LED lamps, while doctors use them to map biological tissue, the academy said about the research of the Frenchman Bawendi, the American Brus and Ekimov, born in the then-Soviet Union.
“Quantum dots have many fascinating and unusual properties. Importantly, they have different colors depending on their size,” said Johan Åqvist, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry in a statement.
“Researchers believe that in the future they could contribute to flexible electronics, tiny sensors, thinner solar cells and encrypted quantum communication – so we have just started exploring the potential of these tiny particles,” the academy said.
In the early 1980s, Ekimov created size-dependent quantum effects in colored glass and demonstrated that the particle size affected the color via quantum effects, the academy said.
A few years later, Brus was the first scientist in the world to prove size-dependent quantum effects in particles floating freely in a fluid, and then in 1993, Bawendi revolutionized the chemical production of quantum dots, resulting in almost perfect particles – a quality necessary for them to be utilized in applications.
The names of this year’s winners were leaked a few hours before the official announcement and published by Swedish media outlets.
Bawendi said that he was unaware of the leak.
“I was awakened by the Swedish academy, I was sound asleep,” he said.
The new Nobel winner said he was “very surprised, shocked, sleepy and very honored” by the award, which the US-based scientist was notified of in an overnight phone call.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is the third of the prestigious awards to be announced so far, following the prize for medicine announced on Monday, and the prize for physics on Tuesday. The literature prize will be announced Thursday ahead of peace and economic sciences. EFE