Light from Nanoparticles

The featured May 2020 NCI-SW webinar, Luminescent Nanoparticles of Metal Oxides, shared exciting information about nanomaterials that emit light. Specifically, how you could synthesize certain nanomaterials to emit light, and “tune” these materials to provide the color (wavelengths) that you wanted. Yuanbing Mao, Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, Illinois Institute of Technology, reminded us of not only the different ways materials emit light but also the ways they can be induced to emit light.

Next, Dr. Mao focused on a unique class of metal oxides, specifically nanoparticles of metal oxides, that do a good job at emitting light. For chemistry focused readers, we are referring to compounds like the doped rare earth metal oxides like Eu3+:La2Zr2O7

Dr Mao did point out, it is tricky to synthesize these nanoparticles including heating them to 650°C to get just the right nano structure. These materials can also act as ionizing radiation scintillation detectors for biomedical applications  and for nuclear waste immobilization. We were intrigued by how changing the properties of materials at the nanoscale can open a new world of applications. If you are interested in hearing more of Dr. Mao’s comments, please click here to enjoy the entire webinar.