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Auger and Carrier Trapping Dynamics in Core/Shell Quantum Dots Having Sharp and Alloyed Interfaces

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journal contribution
posted on 19.02.2016, 00:00 by Gary A. Beane, Ke Gong, David F. Kelley
The role of interface sharpness in controlling the excited state dynamics in CdSe/ZnSe core/shell particles is examined here. Particles composed of CdSe/ZnSe with 2.4–4.0 nm diameter cores and approximately 4 monolayer shells are synthesized at relatively low temperature, ensuring a sharp core–shell interface. Subsequent annealing results in cadmium and zinc interdiffusion, softening the interface. TEM imaging and absorption spectra reveal that annealing results in no change in the particle sizes. Annealing results in a 5–10 nm blue shift in the absorption spectrum, which is compared to calculated spectral shifts to characterize the extent of metal interdiffusion. The one- and two-photon dynamics are measured using time-resolved absorption spectroscopy. We find that biexcitons undergo biexponential decays, with fast and slow decay times differing by about an order of magnitude. The relative magnitudes of the fast and slow components depend on the sharpness of the core–shell interface, with larger fast component amplitudes associated with a sharp core–shell interface. The slow component is assigned to Auger recombination of band edge carriers and the fast decay component to Auger recombination of holes that are trapped in defects produced by lattice strain. Annealing of these particles softens the core–shell interface and thereby reduces the amount of lattice strain and diminishes the magnitude of the fast decay component. The time constant of the slow biexciton Auger recombination component changes only slightly upon softening of the core–shell interface.