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Silicon-based nanoparticles provide a non-toxic alternative to conventional nanoparticles.

Photo of luminescent porous silicon nanoparticles in a vial illuminated with ultraviolet light.


Luminescent porous silicon nanoparticles in a vial. The vial is being illuminated with an ultraviolet ("black") light, and the bright red-orange photoluminescence is observed. Prepared from high-purity silicon wafers, these nanoparticles provide a nontoxic and biodegradable alternative to conventional quantum dots for drug delivery and medical diagnostic applications.

Credit: Luo Gu, Ji-Ho Park, UCSD

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