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The Different Nature of Band Edge Absorption and Emission in Colloidal PbSe/CdSe Core/Shell Quantum Dots

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journal contribution
posted on 25.01.2011, 00:00 by Bram De Geyter, Yolanda Justo, Iwan Moreels, Karel Lambert, Philippe F. Smet, Dries Van Thourhout, Arjan J. Houtepen, Dominika Grodzinska, Celso de Mello Donega, Andries Meijerink, Daniel Vanmaekelbergh, Zeger Hens
We present a quantitative analysis of the absorption and luminescence of colloidal PbSe/CdSe core/shell quantum dots (QDs). In absorption, both the energy and the oscillator strength of the first exciton transition coincide with that of plain PbSe QDs. In contrast, luminescence lifetime measurements indicate that the oscillator strength of the emitting transition is reduced by at least a factor of 4 compared to PbSe core QDs. Moreover, the addition of an electron scavenger quenches the PbSe/CdSe emission, while a hole scavenger does not. This implies that the electron wave function reaches the QD surface, while the hole is confined to the PbSe core. These observations are consistent with calculations based on the effective mass model, which show that PbSe/CdSe QDs are at the boundary between the type-I and quasi-type-II regime, where the electron spreads over the entire nanoparticle and the hole remains confined in the PbSe core. However, as this only leads to a minor reduction of the oscillator strength, it follows that the drastic reduction of the oscillator strength in emission cannot be explained in terms of electron delocalization. In combination with the increased Stokes shift for PbSe/CdSe QDs, this indicates that the emission results from lower energy states that are fundamentally different from the absorbing states.