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Ligand-Dependent Tuning of Interband and Intersubband Transitions of Colloidal CdSe Nanoplatelets

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journal contribution
posted on 25.06.2020 by Benjamin T. Diroll
Although surface ligands of colloidal nanocrystals are known to adjust the absolute energy levels of valence and conduction bands of semiconductor nanocrystals, they typically have only minor influence on the band gap or effective masses. This changes in nanoplatelets. Ligand exchange of CdSe colloidal nanoplatelets induces large (up to 300 meV) bathochromic shifts of both interband and intersubband transitions. Here, three families of ligandshalides, thiolates, and phosphonatesare used to tune interband transitions, reflecting electron and hole confinement, across visible wavelengths and intersubband transitions, reflecting electron confinement, across the near-infrared spectral window. Careful examination shows that delocalization from expansion of the nanoplatelet short axis, which was reported previously, cannot alone explain observed red shifts. Instead, comparison of intersubband, interband, and hole energy levels shows that ligand head group chemistry confers specific, idiosyncratic adjustments of the contribution of conduction and valence bands to the observed bathochromic shifts. Phosphonate ligands show the largest band gap reductions but the smallest red shift of intersubband transition energies; halide-exchanged samples displayed smaller reductions in band gap but large red shifts of intersubband transitions; thiolates fall in between. A related specificity is observed in hole states, which implicates ligand-responsive valence band curvature as an additional contribution driving optical changes. For nanoplatelets, surface ligand chemistry offers not only a tool to adjust the absolute energy level of conduction and valence bands but also an alternative route to preferential electron or hole band engineering that is normally achieved with inorganic shells.