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Definition: quantum dot

A minuscule crystal of semiconductor material composed of various compounds of chemicals such as cadmium, zinc, tellurium, selenium and sulfur. Less than 500 nanometers in size, these "nanoparticles" react to light, as well as electricity, and emit their own light across the visible range of wavelengths from 470 to 730 nm.

The applications for quantum dots include medical sensors and lighting systems that are "painted" onto materials. Thin film deposits of quantum dots on solar cell substrates can increase their voltage output by fluorescing the light before it is captured. See QuantumFilm, quantum dot backlight, ULED and QLED.