Silicon Quantum Dots can Be Manufactured within Targeted Size Range, Can be Modified to Provide Sensor Functions and to Prevent Clumping and Clinging (RFT-501)

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Invention Summary


Scientists at NDSU have developed a method to produce functionalized silicon quantum dots (SQDs) with sensor capabilities. The SQDs are produced by aerosolizing droplets of liquid silane, and their size (therefore color) can be targeted within a narrow range by adjusting the speed of the liquid through the system. The SQDs are functionalized during this process, which enables subsequent modification to prevent agglomeration and clinging, and to provide sensor capabilities (e.g. detection of acids, bases, and metals) and N-type and P-type doping. Being made of silicon, the SQD base materials are non-toxic and chemically inert.


  • Sensors
  • Optics
  • Filter components to bind specific target compounds 


  • Cadmium free
  • Size ranges between 0.5 and 200 nm
  • Tune size to produce selected colors by adjusting the speed at which the liquid moves through the system
  • Surface modifications enable binding to specific molecules of interest, producing a wide range of functionalities


This technology is patent pending and is available for licensing/partnering opportunities.


Henry Nowak, Technology Manager


RFT, 501, RFT501


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