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Modulation of Carrier Type in Nanocrystal-in-Matrix Composites by Interfacial Doping

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journal contribution
posted on 30.03.2018, 17:06 by Richa Sharma, April M. Sawvel, Bastian Barton, Angang Dong, Raffaella Buonsanti, Anna Llordes, Eric Schaible, Stephanus Axnanda, Zhi Liu, Jeffrey J. Urban, Dennis Nordlund, Christian Kisielowski, Delia J. Milliron
Inorganic nanocomposites synthesized by combination of colloidal nanocrystals (NCs) and inorganic clusters have recently emerged as new materials with novel and unique functionalities. Much of the demonstrated promise of nanocomposites derives from the unique interactions between NC and matrix componentsthis generates new material properties, which direct unique transport behavior in the overall solid or nanocompositebe it mass, charge, or heat. While measured empirically, it has remained largely impossible to take an a priori look at material properties and use those as a guideline to design desired transport behavior. Fundamentally, this is because the structural and electronic changes manifest at those interfaces have remained hidden from examination. Here, we provide experimental evidence that transport behavior in nanocrystal-in-matrix (NIM) composites is dictated primarily by interfacial charge transfer associated with electronic and structural reconstructions as the composite forms. Our approach building continuous composite superlattices serves as a starting point for systematic probing of the nanointerface of NIM composites via ultrathin films. A combination of field effect transistor device characterization and photoemission spectroscopy reveals the systematic dependence of the polarity of charge transfer on the selection of matrix materials in NIM composites. We use this insight to combine, by design, different components to tune the carrier type in NIM composites.