Luminescence upconversion nanocrystals capable of converting two low-energy photons into a single photon at a higher energy are sought-after for a variety of applications, including bioimaging and photovoltaic light harvesting. Currently available systems, based on rare-earth-doped dielectrics, are limited in both tunability and absorption cross-section. Here we present colloidal double quantum dots as an alternative nanocrystalline upconversion system, combining the stability of an inorganic crystalline structure with the spectral tunability afforded by quantum confinement. By tailoring its composition and morphology, we form a semiconducting nanostructure in which excited electrons are delocalized over the entire structure, but a double potential well is formed for holes. Upconversion occurs by excitation of an electron in the lower energy transition, followed by intraband absorption of the hole, allowing it to cross the barrier to a higher energy state. An overall conversion efficiency of 0.1% per double excitation event is achieved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering