Nanoparticles and quantum dots

Characterization of nanoparticles - particles between 1 and 100 nanometers in size - are often linked to the localization of light in nanosized particles or interfaces that typically show a huge field enhancement at the surface.

Typical examples are tiny single photonic components such as complex nano-waveguides, nano-apertures, and nano-resonators. Tight localization is of great practical importance, e.g. for high-resolution inspection, local modification of materials, high field concentration, intensity enhancement, increase of efficiency of nonlinear processes such as Raman scattering, and harmonic generation.

Nanoparticles of semiconductor materials arranged in bandgaps are called quantum dots. A quantum dot (QD) is a nanocrystal made of semiconductor materials that are small enough to exhibit quantum mechanical properties. Quantum dots are used in applications like solar cells, LEDs, and contrast agents in bio-imaging.