Ultrafast charge dynamics in novel colloidal quantum dots

  • Musa Cadirci

Student thesis: Phd


In this thesis ultrafast exciton dynamics of several colloidal quantum dots have been studied using visible transient absorption spectroscopy. The resultant transient decays and differential transmission spectra were analysed to determine the ultrafast relaxation channels, multiple exciton generation (MEG) efficiency and multi-exciton interactions in the observed materials. All QDs were preliminarily optically characterized using steady state absorption and photoluminescence spectroscopies. In addition, a high repetition infrared femtosecond pump probe experiment was designed and built to detect the picosecond intraband carrier relaxations in quantum dots.Picosecond carrier dynamics of type-II ZnTe/ZnSe and of CuInSe2 and CuInS2 type-I quantum dots were investigated. The common feature of these materials is that they are eco-friendly materials, being alternatives to the toxic Cd- and Pb- based materials. It was found that surface trapping occurred in both cases for electrons in the hot states, and in the minimum of the conduction band for ZnTe/ZnSe core/shell materials. Trion formation was observed in ZnTe/ZnSe core/shell dots at high power and unstirred conditions. The hot and cold electron trapping processes in type-II dots and CuInS2 and CuInSe2 dots shifted, distorted and moderately cancelled the bleach features. In addition, intra-gap hole trapping was observed in CuInS2 and CuInSe2 dots which results in a long decay feature in the recorded transients.MEG competes with Auger cooling, surface mediated relaxation and phonon emission. To enhance the MEG quantum yield, the rival mechanisms were suppressed in well-engineered CdSe/CdTe/CdS and CdTe/CdSe/CdS core/shell/shell and CdTe/CdS core/shell type-II quantum dots. The MEG slope efficiency and threshold for a range of different core size and shell thickness were found to be (142±9)%/Eg and (2.59±0.16)Eg, respectively. The observed threshold was consistent with the literature, whereas, the obtained slope efficiency was about three times higher than the previously reported values.The biexciton interaction energy of the dots stated in the previous paragraph was also studied. To date, time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) has been employed to study exciton interactions in type-II quantum dots and large repulsive biexciton interaction energy values between 50-100 meV have been reported. However, unlike the TRPL method, the TA experiment ensures that only two excitons remain in the band edge of the dot. Using this method, large attractive biexciton interaction energies up to ~-60 meV was observed. These results have promising implications regarding enhancing the MEG quantum yield.
Date of Award31 Dec 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDavid Binks (Supervisor)


  • Colloidal quantum dots
  • Multiple exciton generation
  • Exciton-exciton interaction
  • Femtosecond transient absorption experiment
  • Time-resolved photoluminescence experiment
  • Ultrafast carrier dynamics

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