American Chemical Society
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Redox Brightening of Colloidal Semiconductor Nanocrystals Using Molecular Reductants

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journal contribution
posted on 2012-10-03, 00:00 authored by Jeffrey D. Rinehart, Amanda L. Weaver, Daniel R. Gamelin
Chemical reductants of sub-conduction-band potentials are demonstrated to induce large photoluminescence enhancement in colloidal ZnSe-based nanocrystals. The photoluminescence quantum yield of colloidal Mn2+-doped ZnSe nanocrystals has been improved from 14% to 80% simply by addition of an outer-sphere reductant. Up to 48-fold redox brightening is observed for nanocrystals with lower starting quantum yields. These increases are quickly reversed upon exposure to air and are temporary even under anaerobic conditions. This redox brightening process offers a new and systematic approach to understanding redox-active surface “trap states” and their contributions to the physical properties of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals.