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Title: Science-based design of stable quantum dots for energy-efficient lighting

II-VI quantum dots, such as CdSe and CdTe, are attractive as downconversion materials for solid-state lighting, because of their narrow linewidth, tunable emission. However, for these materials to have acceptable quantum yields (QYs) requires that they be coated with a II-VI shell material whose valence band offset serves to confine the hole to the core. Confinement prevents the hole from accessing surface traps that lead to nonradiative decay of the exciton. Examples of such hole-confined core/shell QDs include CdTe/CdSe and CdSe/CdS. Unfortunately, the shell can also cause problems due to lattice mismatch, which ranges from 4-6% for systems of interest. This lattice mismatch can create significant interface energies at the heterojunction and places the core under radial compression and the shell under tangential tension. At elevated temperatures (~240°C) interfacial diffusion can relax these stresses, as can surface reconstruction, which can expose the core, creating hole traps. But such high temperatures favor the hexagonal Wurtzite structure, which has lower QY than the cubic zinc blende structure, which can be synthesized at lower temperatures, ~140°C. In the absence of alloying the core/shell structure can become metastable, or even unstable, if the shell is too thick. This can cause result in an irregularmore » shell or even island growth. But if the shell is too thin thermallyactivated transport of the hole to surface traps can occur. In our LDRD we have developed a fundamental atomistic modeling capability, based on Stillinger-Weber and Bond-Order potentials we developed for the entire II-VI class. These pseudo-potentials have enabled us to conduct large-scale atomistic simulations that have led to the computation of phase diagrams of II-VI QDs. These phase diagrams demonstrate that at elevated temperatures the zinc blende phase of CdTe with CdSe grown on it epitaxially becomes thermodynamically unstable due to alloying. This is accompanied by a loss of hole confinement and a severe drop in the QY and emission lifetime, which is confirmed experimentally for the zinc blende core/shell QDs prepared at low temperatures. These QDs have QYs as high as 95%, which makes them very attractive for lighting. Finally, to address strain relaxation in these materials we developed a model for misfit dislocation formation that we have validated through atomistic simulations.« less
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States