Probing homogeneous line broadening in CdSe nanocrystals using multidimensional electronic spectroscopy

Daniel Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The finite spectral line width of an ensemble of CdSe nanocrystals arises from size and shape inhomogeneity and the single-nanocrystal spectrum itself. This line width directly limits the performance of nanocrystal-based devices, yet most optical measurements cannot resolve the underlying contributions. We use two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy (2D ES) to measure the line width of the band-edge exciton of CdSe nanocrystals as a function of radii and surface chemistry. We find that the homogeneous width decreases for increasing nanocrystal radius and that surface chemistry plays a critical role in controlling this line width. To explore the hypothesis that unpassivated trap states serve to broaden the homogeneous line width and to explain its size-dependence, we use 3D ES to identify the spectral signatures of exciton-phonon coupling to optical and acoustic phonons. We find enhanced coupling to optical phonon modes for nanocrystals that lack electron-passivating ligands, suggesting that localized surface charges enhance exciton-phonon coupling via the Fröhlich interaction. Lastly, the data reveal that spectral diffusion contributes negligibly to the homogeneous line width on subnanosecond time scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2809-2815
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 10 2017


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