I am a postdoc in Technion, Israel, focusing on colloidal synthesis of semiconductor nanocrystals.
The important background of semiconductor nanocrystals, including narrow bandgap nanocrystals
Q. What is a semiconductor?
A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity value between that of a conductor, such as copper, and that of an insulator, such as glass.
Q. Why is Nano important?
A bulk semiconductor material has constant properties regardless of its size, however, when the size of material decreases into nanoscale, its properties are dramatically changed, showing size-dependency.
Q. What is quantum dots?
The size of bulk semiconductor materials becomes nanoscale, they are called as semiconductor nanocrystals or quantum dots. They exhibit the unique optical and electrical properties which differ from those of bulk materials. When electricity or light is applied to semiconductor nanocrystals, they can emit light of specific wavelength (or frequency). The position of emission can be tuned by adjusting the size, shape, and material, leading to various applications such as solar cell, biological tagging, and light-emitting diodes. For example, larger semiconductor nanocrystals emit longer wavelength resulting in emission colors such as orange or red. Smaller quantum dots emit shorter wavelengths resulting in colors like blue and green.
Q. What is the issue in narrow bandgap semiconductor?
Nowadays, beside visible range of optical properties, the demand of infrared optical activity is increasing. Therefore, the controlled synthesis of semiconductor nanocrystals showing infrared optical activities is highly important scientific and technological interest. For the fabrication of infrared devices, the lead chalcogenides have been studied and shown good performance, however, they contain lead element with the high toxicity. Therefore, for a long-run practical application, the use of heavy metal compounds should be avoided. Finding alternative semiconductor materials with low toxicity is an extremely important for scientific research and technological applications.
Abstract: Colloidal nanocrystals (NCs, i.e., crystalline nanoparticles) have become an important class of materials with great potential for applications ranging from medicine to electronic and optoelectronic devices. Today's strong research focus on NCs has been prompted by the tremendous progress in their synthesis. Impressively narrow size distributions of just a few percent, rational shape-engineering, compositional modulation, electronic doping, and tailored surface chemistries are now feasible for a broad range of inorganic compounds. The performance of inorganic NC-based photovoltaic and light-emitting devices has become competitive to other state-of-the-art materials. Semiconductor NCs hold unique promise for near- and mid-infrared technologies, where very few semiconductor materials are available. On a purely fundamental side, new insights into NC growth, chemical transformations, and self-organization can be gained from rapidly progressing in situ characterization and direct imaging techniques. New phenomena are constantly being discovered in the photophysics of NCs and in the electronic properties of NC solids. In this Nano Focus, we review the state of the art in research on colloidal NCs focusing on the most recent works published in the last 2 years.
Pub.: 23 Jan '15, Pinned: 30 Jul '17
Abstract: The continued growth of mobile and interactive computing requires devices manufactured with low-cost processes, compatible with large-area and flexible form factors, and with additional functionality. We review recent advances in the design of electronic and optoelectronic devices that use colloidal semiconductor quantum dots (QDs). The properties of materials assembled of QDs may be tailored not only by the atomic composition but also by the size, shape, and surface functionalization of the individual QDs and by the communication among these QDs. The chemical and physical properties of QD surfaces and the interfaces in QD devices are of particular importance, and these enable the solution-based fabrication of low-cost, large-area, flexible, and functional devices. We discuss challenges that must be addressed in the move to solution-processed functional optoelectronic nanomaterials.
Pub.: 27 Aug '16, Pinned: 30 Jul '17
Abstract: Semiconductor nanocrystals are tiny light-emitting particles on the nanometer scale. Researchers have studied these particles intensely and have developed them for broad applications in solar energy conversion, optoelectronic devices, molecular and cellular imaging, and ultrasensitive detection. A major feature of semiconductor nanocrystals is the quantum confinement effect, which leads to spatial enclosure of the electronic charge carriers within the nanocrystal. Because of this effect, researchers can use the size and shape of these "artificial atoms" to widely and precisely tune the energy of discrete electronic energy states and optical transitions. As a result, researchers can tune the light emission from these particles throughout the ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, and mid-infrared spectral ranges. These particles also span the transition between small molecules and bulk crystals, instilling novel optical properties such as carrier multiplication, single-particle blinking, and spectral diffusion. In addition, semiconductor nanocrystals provide a versatile building block for developing complex nanostructures such as superlattices and multimodal agents for molecular imaging and targeted therapy. In this Account, we discuss recent advances in the understanding of the atomic structure and optical properties of semiconductor nanocrystals. We also discuss new strategies for band gap and electronic wave function engineering to control the location of charge carriers. New methodologies such as alloying, doping, strain-tuning, and band-edge warping will likely play key roles in the further development of these particles for optoelectronic and biomedical applications.
Pub.: 16 Oct '09, Pinned: 30 Jul '17
Abstract: Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals have attracted continuous worldwide interest over the last three decades owing to their remarkable and unique size- and shape-, dependent properties. The colloidal nature of these nanomaterials allows one to take full advantage of nanoscale effects to tailor their optoelectronic and physical–chemical properties, yielding materials that combine size-, shape-, and composition-dependent properties with easy surface manipulation and solution processing. These features have turned the study of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals into a dynamic and multidisciplinary research field, with fascinating fundamental challenges and dazzling application prospects. This review focuses on the excited-state dynamics in these intriguing nanomaterials, covering a range of different relaxation mechanisms that span over 15 orders of magnitude, from a few femtoseconds to a few seconds after photoexcitation. In addition to reviewing the state of the art and highlighting the essential concepts in the field, we also discuss the relevance of the different relaxation processes to a number of potential applications, such as photovoltaics and LEDs. The fundamental physical and chemical principles needed to control and understand the properties of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals are also addressed.
Pub.: 09 Aug '16, Pinned: 30 Jul '17
Abstract: The chemistry, material processing and fundamental understanding of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots) are advancing at an astounding rate, bringing the prospects of widespread commercialization of these novel and exciting materials ever closer. Interest in narrow bandgap nanocrystals in particular has intensified in recent years, and the results of research worldwide point to the realistic prospects of applications for these materials in solar cells, infrared optoelectronics (e.g. lasers, optical modulators, photodetectors and photoimaging devices), low cost/large format microelectronics, and in biological imaging and biosensor systems to name only some technologies. Improvements in fundamental understanding and material quality are built on a vast body of experience spread over many different methods of colloidal synthetic growth, each with their own strengths and weaknesses for different materials and sometimes with regard to particular applications. The nanocrystal growth expertise is matched by a rapidly expanding, and highly interdisciplinary, understanding of how best to assemble these materials into films or hybrid composites and thereby into useful devices, and again there are many different strategies that can be adopted. In this review we have attempted to survey and compare the recent work on colloidal synthesis, film and nanocrystal composite material fabrication, concentrating on narrow bandgap chalcogenide materials and some of their topical applications in the solar energy and biological fields. Since these applications are attracting rising interest across a wide range of disciplines, from the biological sciences, device engineering, and materials processing fields as well as the physics and synthetic chemistry communities, we have endeavoured to make the review of these narrow bandgap nanomaterials both comprehensive and accessible to newcomers to the area.
Pub.: 31 Jan '13, Pinned: 30 Jul '17
Abstract: Semiconductor nanocrystals produced by means of colloidal chemistry in a solvent medium are an attractive class of nanometer-sized building blocks from which to create complex materials with unique properties for a variety of applications. Their optical and electronic properties can be tailored easily, both by their chemical composition and particle size. While colloidal nanocrystals emitting in the infrared region have seen a burst of attention during the last decade there is clearly a paucity of review articles covering their synthesis, assembly, spectroscopic characterization, and applications. This Review comprehensively addresses these topics for II-VI, III-V, and IV-VI nanocrystals, examples being HgTe and Cd(x)Hg(1-) (x)Te, InP and InAs, and PbS, PbSe, and PbTe, respectively. Among the applications discussed here are optical amplifier media for telecommunications systems, electroluminescence devices, and noninvasive optical imaging in biology.
Pub.: 07 Mar '07, Pinned: 30 Jul '17
Abstract: Semiconductor colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) have attracted vast scientific and technological interest throughout the past three decades, due to the unique tuneability of their optoelectronic properties by variation of size and composition. However, the nanoscale size brings about a large surface-to-bulk volume ratio, where exterior surfaces have a pronounced influence on the chemical stability and on the physical properties of the semiconductor. Therefore, numerous approaches have been developed to gain efficient surface passivation, including a coverage by organic or inorganic molecular surfactants as well as the formation of core/shell heterostructures (a semiconductor core epitaxially covered by another semiconductor shell). This review focuses on special designs of core/shell heterostructures from the IV-VI and II-VI semiconductor compounds, and on synthetic approaches and characterization of the optical properties. Experimental observations revealed the formation of core/shell structures with type-I or quasi-type-II band alignment between the core and shell constituents. Theoretical calculations of the electronic band structures, which were also confirmed by experimental work, exposed surplus electronic tuning (beyond the radial diameter) with adaptation of the composition and control of the interface properties. The studies also considered strain effects that are created between two different semiconductors. It was disclosed experimentally and theoretically that the strain can be released via the formation of alloys at the core-shell interface. Overall, the core/shell and core/alloyed-shell heterostructures showed enhancement in luminescence quantum efficiency with respect to that of pure cores, extended lifetime, uniformity in size and in many cases good chemical sustainability under ambient conditions.
Pub.: 21 Dec '16, Pinned: 30 Jul '17
Abstract: We review the synthesis of semiconductor nanocrystals/colloidal quantum dots in organic solvents with special emphasis on earth-abundant and toxic heavy metal free compounds. Following the Introduction, section 2 defines the terms related to the toxicity of nanocrystals and gives a comprehensive overview on toxicity studies concerning all types of quantum dots. Section 3 aims at providing the reader with the basic concepts of nanocrystal synthesis. It starts with the concepts currently used to describe the nucleation and growth of monodisperse particles and next takes a closer look at the chemistry of the inorganic core and its interactions with surface ligands. Section 4 reviews in more detail the synthesis of different families of semiconductor nanocrystals, namely elemental group IV compounds (carbon nanodots, Si, Ge), III–V compounds (e.g., InP, InAs), and binary and multinary metal chalcogenides. Finally, the authors’ view on the perspectives in this field is given.
Pub.: 08 Jul '16, Pinned: 31 Jul '17
Abstract: The rational design and synthesis of narrow-gap colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) is an important step toward the next generation of solution-processable photovoltaics, photodetectors, and thermoelectric devices. SnTe NCs are particularly attractive as a Pb-free alternative to NCs of narrow-gap lead chalcogenides. Previous synthetic efforts on SnTe NCs have focused on spherical nanoparticles. Here we report new strategies for synthesis of SnTe NCs with shapes tunable from highly monodisperse nanocubes, to nanorods (NRs) with variable aspect ratios, and finally to long, straight nanowires (NWs). Reaction at high temperature quickly forms thermodynamically favored nanocubes, but low temperatures lead to elongated particles. Transmission electron microscopy studies of reaction products at various stages of the synthesis reveal that the growth and shape-focusing of monodisperse SnTe nanocubes likely involves interparticle ripening, while directional growth of NRs and NWs may be initiated by particle dimerization via oriented attachment.
Pub.: 06 Nov '15, Pinned: 31 Jul '17
Abstract: Controlling the synthesis of narrow bandgap semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) with a high quality surface is of prime importance for scientific and technological interests. This paper presents facile solution-phase syntheses of SnTe NCs and their corresponding core/shell heterostructures. Here, we synthesized monodisperse and highly crystalline SnTe NCs by employing an inexpensive, non-toxic precursor, SnCl2, which reactivity was enhanced by adding a reducing agent, 1,2-hexadecanediol. Moreover, we developed a synthesis procedure for the formation of SnTe-based core/shell NCs, by combining the cation exchange and the Kirkendall effect. The cation exchange of Sn(2+) by Cd(2+) at the surface allowed primarily the formation of SnTe/CdTe core/shell NCs. Further continuation of the reaction promoted an intensive diffusion of the Cd(2+) ions, which via the Kirkendall effect, led to the formation of the inverted CdTe/SnTe core/shell NCs.
Pub.: 23 Jun '16, Pinned: 31 Jul '17
Abstract: HgTe colloidal quantum dots are prepared via a simple two-step injection method. Absorption and photodetection with sharp edges, as well as narrow photoluminescence, are tunable across the near and mid-IR between 1.3 and 5 μm.
Pub.: 29 Sep '11, Pinned: 31 Jul '17
Abstract: We report on HgTe colloidal-based quantum-dot mid-infrared (IR) photodetectors. We demonstrate tuning the cutoff wavelength of this detector from the near IR up to 7 μm. Responsivity values of films of HgTe nanoparticles a few hundred nanometers thick are in the 100 mA W−1 range even at room temperature. The detectivity of this film is limited by large 1/f noise. Time responses as short as 200 ns are achieved.
Pub.: 21 Mar '12, Pinned: 31 Jul '17