Quantum confinement. Size matters, but so does shape, at least in the world of semiconducting nanocrystals, report chemists at Washington University in St. Louis. Their findings, published in the August 2003 issue of Nature Materials, demonstrate experimentally that the shape of a semiconductor nanocrystal can affect its electronic and optical properties. The study, led by graduate student Heng Yu and William E. Buhro, Ph. D., professor of chemistry in Arts & Science, is the first comprehensive comparison relating shape to the phenomenon known as "quantum confinement."