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June 6th, 2007
Researchers at Northwestern University have made significant strides in the development of quantum dot infrared photodetectors -- technology that may provide new imaging techniques with applications in medical and biological imaging, environmental and chemical monitoring, night vision and infrared imaging from space.
Conventional infrared photon detector technology for imaging applications typically requires that the detector be cooled to very low temperatures -- approximately 77 degrees Kelvin. This cooling requirement adds significant cost, bulk and power consumption to the imaging systems, therefore limiting their usability. By using nanotechnology to form quantum dots, researchers at Northwestern's Center for Quantum Devices (CQD) are one step closer to achieving the goal of developing high-performance imaging techniques that can operate at higher temperatures.
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