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Improving Optical Gain Performance in Semiconductor Quantum Dots via Coupled Quantum Shells

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journal contribution
posted on 21.02.2016 by Eva A. Dias, Jonathan I. Saari, Pooja Tyagi, Patanjali Kambhampati
Semiconductor quantum dots are of interest as optical gain media for lasing applications. Here we report on efficient, broad bandwidth optical gain in the CdSe/ZnS/CdSe quantum dot/barrier/quantum shell nanocrystal. These nanocrystals are known to support spontaneous emission from both CdSe phases, offering promise for lasing applications via wave function engineering. The CdSe/ZnS/CdSe nanocrystals were found to have enhanced optical gain characteristics relative to CdSe quantum dots, as shown using femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. The enhancement of gain metrics such as bandwidth and efficiency arises from stimulated emission from quantum shell-enabled excitations. These shell-enabled excitations increase gain bandwidth via emission from new transitions and increase efficiencies via tailored biexciton interactions. This unique two-color character in both spontaneous emission and optical gain is rationalized by slow exciton cooling from the core/shell states into the core localized quantum dot states.