Amoolya Grandhi

Supercrystal Self-Assembly of Quantum Dots

Quantum dot supercrystals hold a lot of potential for future nanophotonics due to their unique optical and electric properties. Quantum dots, which are semiconducting nanoparticles, can act like atoms and arrange into a crystal structure, forming something called a supercrystal. These supercrystals have been found to form interesting shapes such as spheres, rods, and various prisms. However, my research recently found that they can also take the shape of half-spheres or donuts, which has never been documented before. These new shapes both pack differently and likely have unique optical properties (the shape of a supercrystal has been found to affect its electromagnetic properties). My project aims to study the supercrystal formation of quantum dots on an air-liquid interface and investigate the effect of subphase surface energy and micelle formation on supercrystal size and shape. Understanding what controls the shape of supercrystals could enable the discovery of novel fabrication processes and help uncover new material properties.

Message to Sponsor

Despite not being able to work in my lab in person this semester, this fellowship has still allowed me to do research and learn new skills I would not have otherwise. During the summer, I've decided to learn python and completed an introductory course online. I also applied this newfound knowledge to my research and made a few figures of my data. I also familiarized myself with an illustration tool, which I used to make visualizations of my research. I also took this time to deepen my understanding of my field and spent time reading many scientific papers about quantum dots, which I probably would not have done as intensely otherwise. Thanks to the Rose Hills Foundation, I have developed new skills and different methods to do research, as well as broadened my understanding of my field.
  • Major: Chemistry
  • Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills Experience
  • Mentor: Paul Alivisatos