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Bright Blue Emitting Cu-Doped Cs2ZnCl4 Colloidal Nanocrystals

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journal contribution
posted on 22.06.2020, 16:05 by Dongxu Zhu, Matteo L. Zaffalon, Valerio Pinchetti, Rosaria Brescia, Fabrizio Moro, Mauro Fasoli, Marco Fanciulli, Aiwei Tang, Ivan Infante, Luca De Trizio, Sergio Brovelli, Liberato Manna
We report here the synthesis of undoped and Cu-doped Cs2ZnCl4 nanocrystals (NCs) in which we could tune the concentration of Cu from 0.7 to 7.5%. Cs2ZnCl4 has a wide band gap (4.8 eV), and its crystal structure is composed of isolated ZnCl4 tetrahedra surrounded by Cs+ cations. According to our electron paramagnetic resonance analysis, in 0.7 and 2.1% Cu-doped NCs the Cu ions were present in the +1 oxidation state only, while in NCs at higher Cu concentrations we could detect Cu­(II) ions (isovalently substituting the Zn­(II) ions). The undoped Cs2ZnCl4 NCs were non emissive, while the Cu-doped samples had a bright intragap photoluminescence (PL) at ∼2.6 eV mediated by band-edge absorption. Interestingly, the PL quantum yield was maximum (∼55%) for the samples with a low Cu concentration ([Cu] ≤ 2.1%), and it systematically decreased when further increasing the concentration of Cu, reaching 15% for the NCs with the highest doping level ([Cu] = 7.5%). The same (∼2.55 eV) emission band was detected under X-ray excitation. Our density functional theory calculations indicated that the PL emission could be ascribed only to Cu­(I) ions: these ions promote the formation of trapped excitons, through which an efficient emission takes place. Overall, these Cu-doped Cs2ZnCl4 NCs, with their high photo- and radio-luminescence emission in the blue spectral region that is free from reabsorption, are particularly suitable for applications in ionizing radiation detection.