Ultrafast hole relaxation dynamics in quantum dots revealed by two- dimensional electronic spectroscopy

PJ Brosseau and JJ Geuchies and D Jasrasaria and AJ Houtepen and E Rabani and P Kambhampati, COMMUNICATIONS PHYSICS, 6, 48 (2023).

DOI: 10.1038/s42005-023-01169-1

For decades hole dynamics were thought to be invisible in the transient spectroscopy of quantum dots. Here, the authors use a combination of time and frequency resolution of 2D electronic spectroscopy to reveal previously unobserved hole dynamics and rationalize these dynamics from a conceptual transition from continuum to atomistic theories of quantum dot excitonics. Elucidating the population dynamics of correlated electron-hole pairs (bound excitons) in semiconducting quantum dots (QDs) is key for developing our fundamental understanding of nanoscale photophysics as well as for the optimal design of devices, such as lasers. For decades, it was assumed that holes did not contribute to band edge bleach signals in QDs. Here, we employ two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy to monitor electron and hole dynamics in both CdSe and CdSe/CdS/ZnS QDs to probe electron and hole dynamics. Based on a combination of time and frequency resolution, we observe a previously unresolved bleaching signal in CdSe QDs on timescales faster than 30 fs due to hole cooling. Atomistic semiempirical pseudopotential calculations are used to rationalize the order of magnitude difference in the observed hole dynamics in CdSe and CdSe/CdS/ZnS QDs. This picture advances our understanding of QD excitonics past the prevailing continuum effective mass theories generally used to describe QD electronic structure and dynamics.

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