When nanotechnology bursted into semiconductor science a new generation of semiconductors was born. The distinct feature of these semiconductors, known as low-dimensional semiconductors, is that their size in one, two or three dimensions is very small (on the nanometer scale). When this happens, we enter the real of quantum mechanics. This means that the usual physics of the macroscopic world no longer works. As a result, the behavior of low-dimensionaly semiconductors becomes highly non-intuitive... but also more fascinating. Understanding the new properties of these nanostructures has led to proposals for revolutionary technological devices we could not imagine not long ago – single-electron transistors, nano-switches with zero-power consumption, ultra-high density memories, spintronic devices, quantum computers or biological agents for selective tumor cell tackling –. The development of such devices is a major challenge of modern solid state physics, requiring the joint effort of many experimental and theoretical research groups around the world.
In the Quantum Chemistry Group of Universitat Jaume I, led by Prof. Josep Planelles, we investigate the basic science that rules the behavior of zero-dimensional semiconductor nanostructures (quantum dots and nanocrystals). These are tiny semiconductors formed by only thousands to millions of atoms. We apply the well-established techniques of quantum chemistry, along with the knowledge of condensed matter physics, to understand, explain and predict the response of semiconductor nanostructures.
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