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Title: Chemical Control of Charge Trapping and Charge Transfer Processes at the Organic-Inorganic Interface within Quantum Dot-Organic Complexes

Within the research program funded through the Early Career Research Award we designed complexes of colloidal semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and organic molecules in which the interfacial chemistry controls the electronic structure and dynamics of the excitonic state of the QD. The program included two main projects; (1) investigation of the mechanisms by which organic surfactants control the quantum confinement of excitonic charge carriers; and (2) development of models for electron transfer between QDs and adsorbed molecules as a function of interfacial chemistry. This project was extremely successful in that our achievements in those two areas addressed the great majority of questions we outlined in the original proposal and answered questions I did not think to ask in that original proposal. Our work led to the discovery of “exciton delocalizing ligands”, which change the electronic structure of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals by altering, with small synthetic modifications to their surfaces, their most defining characteristic – the quantum confinement of their excited states. It also led to detailed, quantitative descriptions of how the surface chemistry of a QD dictates, thermodynamically and kinetically, the probability of exchange of electrons between the QD and a small molecule. We used two of the three majormore » techniques in the proposal (transient photoluminescence and transient absorption). Electrogenerated chemiluminescence was also proposed, but was too technically difficult with these systems to be useful. Instead, NMR spectroscopy emerged as a major analytical tool in our studies. With the fundamental advancements we made with this project, we believe that we can design QDs to be the next great class of visible-light photocatalysts.« less
  1. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States