Researchers gathered this week to extend the use of quantum effects in semiconductors. Quantum effects result from the confinement of electrons, or holes, by restricting their free movement (perpendicular to the direction of crystal growth for quantum dots), thereby enabling their quantum effects to dominate. At the International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors in Vienna, Austria, University of New South Wales (Sydney, Austrailia) claimed a world's first for quantum effects: successful fabrication of quantum wires from gallium arscenide. Dubbed "Hole Quantum Wires," the researchers reported on different aspects of their discovery. Other researchers discussed controlling spin in quantum dots, including those formed in graphene sheets and nanotube transport of holes with quantum spin to "q-bit" calculations of a quantum "Hall effect." Ballistic transport in quantum wires, bound electron-holes (excitons) in semiconductor quantum dots and optical control of spin polarization were also hot topics. New methods of handling nitrides, Bose condensates and quantum-effect optical devices such as quantum-cascade lasers and single-photon lasers are also emerging, researchers said.