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FAMU-FSU Engineering Professor Collaborated on Early Quantum Dot Research

The 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was recently awarded to three renowned scientists for the development of quantum dots - nanoparticles so small that their properties are determined by quantum phenomena. Quantum dots are used to illuminate televisions and computer screens, LED lamps, and help guide surgeons in removal of tumor tissue.

J. Murray Gibson, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, was an early collaborator on research in this field. While at Bell Laboratories in the 1980s, he worked with Nobel Laureate Louis Brus on research published in the Journal of Chemical Physics showing that quantum dots could be made with the desired size and structure. The work is referenced in the Nobel citation.

Gibson worked with high-resolution electron microscopy in the earliest paper documenting the work, which verified the size, shape, crystallography and composition of the dots. This led to the conclusion about their important optical properties being due to quantum-confined bandgaps.

"It brings back fond memories of working with Lou's team at Bell Labs in the early '80s," Gibson said. "It really was an amazing environment with such talent. What made Bell Labs so special was the freedom to do what you chose to in research, combined with immersion in a problem-rich environment. It's not surprising that the institution invented the transistor, the laser and the cell phone! We need to reproduce this environment today for young researchers."

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