Research that could lead to brighter LCD screens, more efficient solar panels, improved biomedical imaging and high-tech security sensors has won the University of Melbourne's Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in PhD.
Dr Daniel Gomez, who completed his thesis in the School of Chemistry, has shed new light on the properties of semiconductor nano-crystals, particles only a billionth of a metre long.
He is now expanding on his work as a Research Fellow at CSIRO where he is part of a team that is working to develop new sensor applications.
Dr Gomez is working on the "fundamental science" aspect of the project - determining how to incorporate these nano-crystals as highly sensitive components in a variety of sensor devices.
With this sensing technology, it would be possible to detect very small amounts of dry particles - such as biological agents or explosives - in the air or liquid.
They could even result in more sensitive pathology, detecting minute amounts of drugs or hormonal changes in urine tests.