Particle-Level Engineering of Thermal Conductivity in Matrix-Embedded Semiconductor Nanocrystals

Known manipulations of semiconductor thermal transport properties rely upon higher-order material organization. Here, using time-resolved optical signatures of phonon transport, we demonstrate a “bottom-up” means of controlling thermal outflow in matrix-embedded semiconductor nanocrystals. Growth of an electronically noninteracting ZnS shell on a CdSe core modifies thermalization times by an amount proportional to the overall particle radius. Using this approach, we obtain changes in effective thermal conductivity of up to 5× for a nearly constant energy gap.