The availability of colloidal quantum dots with highly efficient, fast and ‘non-blinking’ near-infrared emission would benefit numerous applications, from advanced optical communication and quantum networks to biomedical diagnostics. Here, we report high-quality near-infrared emitters that are based on well known CdSe/CdS heterostructures. By incorporating an HgS interlayer at the quantum dot core/shell interface, we convert normally visible emitters into highly efficient near-infrared fluorophores. Employing thermodynamically controlled sequential deposition of metal and chalcogen ions, we achieve atomic-level precision in defining the thickness of the HgS interlayer (H). This manifests in ‘quantized’ jumps of the photoluminescence spectrum when H changes in discrete, atomic steps. The synthesized structures show highly efficient photoluminescence, tunable from 700 to 1,370 nm, and fast radiative rates of ~1/60 ns−1. The emission from individual CdSe/HgS/CdS colloidal quantum dots is virtually blinking free and exhibits nearly perfect single-photon purity. In addition, when incorporated into a light-emitting-diode architecture, these quantum dots demonstrate strong electroluminescence with a sub-bandgap turn-on voltage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering