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Defective nanotubes turned into light emitters
Date:10/31/2013

This news release is available in Spanish.

Scientists are usually after defect-free nano-structures. Yet in this case the UPV/EHU researcher Angel Rubio and his collaborators have put the structural defects in boron nitride nanotubes to maximum use. The outcome of his research is a new light-emitting source that can easily be incorporated into current microelectronics technology. The research has also resulted in a patent.

Boron nitride is a promising material in the field of nanotechnology, thanks to its excellent insulating properties, resistance and two-dimensional structure similar to graphene. And specifically, the properties of hexagonal boron nitride, the focus of this research, are far superior to those of other metals and semiconductors currently being used as light emitters, for example, in applications linked to optical storage (DVD) or communications. "It is extremely efficient in ultraviolet light emission, one of the best currently available on the market," remarked the UPV/EHU researcher Angel Rubio.

However, the light emission of boron nitride nanotubes takes place within a very limited range of the ultraviolet spectrum, which means they cannot be used in applications in which the emission needs to be produced within a broader range of frequencies and in a controlled way (for example in applications using visible light).

The research carried out by the UPV/EHU's NanoBio Spectroscopy Group has come up with a solution to overcome this limitation, and open up the door to the use of hexagonal boron nitride nanotubes in commercial applications.

They have shown that by applying an electric field perpendicular to the nanotube, it is possible to get the latter to emit light across the whole spectrum from the infrared to the far ultraviolet and to control
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Contact: Aitziber Lasa
a.lasa@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert  

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