The role of ligands in determining the exciton relaxation dynamics in semiconductor quantum dots

Mark D. Peterson, Laura C. Cass, Rachel D. Harris, Kedy Edme, Kimberly Sung, Emily A. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

101 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews the mechanisms through which molecules adsorbed to the surfaces of semiconductor nanocrystals, quantum dots (QDs), influence the pathways for and dynamics of intra- and interband exciton relaxation in these nanostructures. In many cases, the surface chemistry of the QDs determines the competition between Auger relaxation and electronic-to-vibrational energy transfer in the intraband cooling of hot carriers, and between electron or hole-trapping processes and radiative recombination in relaxation of band-edge excitons. The latter competition determines the photoluminescence quantum yield of the nanocrystals, which is predictable through a set of mostly phenomenological models that link the surface coverage of ligands with specific chemical properties to the rate constants for nonradiative exciton decay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-339
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Auger relaxation
  • charge trapping
  • electron-to-vibrational energy transfer
  • surface chemistry
  • transient absorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this