Effect of the core/shell interface on auger recombination evaluated by single-quantum-dot spectroscopy

Young Shin Park, Wan Ki Bae, Lazaro A. Padilha, Jeffrey M. Pietryga, Victor I. Klimov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


Previous single-particle spectroscopic studies of colloidal quantum dots have indicated a significant spread in biexciton lifetimes across an ensemble of nominally identical nanocrystals. It has been speculated that in addition to dot-to-dot variation in physical dimensions, this spread is contributed to by variations in the structure of the quantum dot interface, which controls the shape of the confinement potential. Here, we directly evaluate the effect of the composition of the core-shell interface on single- and multiexciton dynamics via side-by-side measurements of individual core-shell CdSe/CdS nanocrystals with a sharp versus smooth (graded) interface. To realize the latter type of structures we incorporate a CdSexS1-x alloy layer of controlled composition and thickness between the CdSe core and the CdS shell. We observe that while having essentially no effect on single-exciton decay, the interfacial alloy layer leads to a systematic increase in biexciton lifetimes, which correlates with the increase in the biexciton emission efficiency, as inferred from two-photon correlation measurements. These observations provide direct experimental evidence that in addition to the size of the quantum dot, its interfacial properties also significantly affect the rate of Auger recombination, which governs biexciton decay. These findings help rationalize previous observations of a significant heterogeneity in the biexciton lifetimes across similarly sized quantum dots and should facilitate the development of "Auger-recombination-free" colloidal nanostructures for a range of applications from lasers and light-emitting diodes to photodetectors and solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-402
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 12 2014


  • Auger recombination
  • Semiconductor nanocrystal
  • alloyed interface
  • biexciton
  • core/shell
  • quantum dot
  • second-order intensity correlation function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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