My name is Arthur Shapiro, a PhD student at the faculty of chemistry at the Technion-Israel institute of Technology under the supervision of Prof. Efrat Lifshitz.
When I started my Bachelor's degree I encountered many obstacles and didn't imagine that one day I will start a PhD, what today seems to me so natural.
Besides science sport is an integral part of my life.
I deal with nano particles and I like to create such a tiny objects with unique features due to their dimensions.
As a chemist I have a great influence and control on the final product. I am amazed when I am taking my particles to electronic microscope and see what I have synthesized with ability to see single atoms.
Solution for the air-stability problem of IV-VI CQDs and the strain in the interface are addressed
Lead chalcogenide (group IV-VI semiconductors) CQDs have raised scientific and technological interest due to their optical tunability in the IR spectral regime [so-called near infrared (NIR), 0.7-1.5 µm and shortwave infrared (SWIR), 1.5-3 µm ]. Therefore, these CQDs can be potentially employed in numerous applications, such as solar cells, field-effect transistor (FETs), SWIR applications and up-conversion (UC) devices. Although, lead chalcogenides have many benefits, they are extremely sensitive in ambient conditions. The limited chemical stability of lead chalcogenides prevents a study of their properties under ambient conditions and technological implementation. Therefore, the passivation of QDs has become an important issue. To tackle the problem, several strategies of post-synthesis treatment of CQDs can be applied, such as halogen passivation, which provides atomic surface passivation, or by using heterostructures such as core/shell. Aside to benefits of the core/shell heterostructures, unintended strain at an interface between the core and the shell can be generated due to the constituents' different crystallographic parameters. This strain results in the formation of dislocations or vacancy defect sites, as a strain relief process. These defects can become a site for non-radiative recombination in CQDs, resulting in the reduction of fluorescent efficiency. For example, a PbS shell exhibits a small deviation (~3%) of lattice parameter (6.12 Å and 5.94 Å for bulk PbSe and PbS, respectively) and the same rock-salt crystal structure with respect to a PbSe core, indicating a good candidate as a shell. However, our recent study has demonstrated that PbSe/PbS CQDs experience the strain force despite close crystalline matching. Previous works have shown that an annealing process can relax the strain by introducing an alloying layer at the interface between core and shell. By post-treatment at optimal annealing temperature, the increase of photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield (QY) and lifetime was observed. Another advantage of alloying is providing tuneability of electronic structure by smoothing the core-to-shell boundary potential, enabling the influence of energy band offsets and band structure by a strain relief.
Abstract: Strain can have a large influence on the properties of materials at the nanoscale. The effect of lattice strain on semiconductor devices has been widely studied, but its influence on colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals is still poorly understood. Here we show that the epitaxial deposition of a compressive shell (ZnS, ZnSe, ZnTe, CdS or CdSe) onto a soft nanocrystalline core (CdTe) to form a lattice-mismatched quantum dot can dramatically change the conduction and valence band energies of both the core and the shell. In particular, standard type-I quantum-dot behaviour is replaced by type-II behaviour, which is characterized by spatial separation of electrons and holes, extended excited-state lifetimes and giant spectral shifts. Moreover, the strain induced by the lattice mismatch can be used to tune the light emission--which displays narrow linewidths and high quantum yields--across the visible and near-infrared part of the spectrum (500-1,050 nm). Lattice-mismatched core-shell quantum dots are expected to have applications in solar energy conversion, multicolour biomedical imaging and super-resolution optical microscopy.
Pub.: 03 Jan '09, Pinned: 13 Sep '17
Abstract: The optical properties and functionality of air-stable PbSe/PbS core-shell and PbSe/PbSexS1-x core-alloyed shell nanocrystal quantum dots (NQDs) are presented. These NQDs showed chemical robustness over months and years and band-gap tunability in the near infrared spectral regime, with a reliance on the NQD size and composition. Furthermore, these NQDs exhibit high emission quantum efficiencies of up to 65% and an exciton emission band that is narrower than that of the corresponding PbSe NQDs. In addition, the emission bands showed a peculiar energy shift with respect to the relevant absorption band, changing from a Stokes shift to an anti-Stokes shift, with an increase of the NQD diameter. The described core-shell structures and the corresponding PbSe core NQDs were used as passive Q-switches in eye-safe lasers of Er:glass, where they act as saturable absorbers. The absorber saturation investigations revealed a relatively large ground-state cross-section of absorption (sigma gs = 10(-16) - 10(-15) cm2) and a behavior of a "fast" absorber with an effective lifetime of tau eff approximately 4.0 ps is proposed. This lifetime is associated with the formation of multiple excitons at the measured pumping power. The product of sigma gs and tau eff enables sufficient Q-switching performance and tunability in the near infrared spectral regime. The amplified spontaneous emission properties of PbSe NQDs were examined under continuous illumination by a diode laser at room temperature, suitable for standard device conditions. The results revealed a relatively large gain parameter (g = 2.63 - 6.67 cm-1). The conductivity properties of PbSe NQD self-assembled solids, annealed at 200 degrees C, showed an Ohmic behavior at the measured voltages (up to 30 V), which is governed by a variable-range-hopping charge transport mechanism.
Pub.: 15 Dec '06, Pinned: 31 Aug '17
Abstract: Colloidal lead chalcogenide (IV-VI) quantum dots and rods are of widespread scientific and technological interest, owing to their size tunable energy band gap at the near-infrared optical regime. This article reviews the development and investigation of IV-VI derivatives, consisting of a core (dot or rod) coated with an epitaxial shell, when either the core or the shell (or both) has an alloy composition, so the entire structure has the chemical formula PbSexS1-x/PbSeyS1-y (0 ≤ x(y) ≤ 1). The article describes synthesis procedures and an examination of the structures' chemical and temperature stability. The investigation of the optical properties revealed information about the quantum yield, radiative lifetime, emission's Stokes shift and electron-phonon interaction, on the variation of composition, core-to-shell division, temperature and environment. The study reflected the unique properties of core-shell heterostructures, offering fine electronic tuning (at a fixed size) by changing their architecture. The optical observations are supported by the electronic band structure theoretical model. The challenges related to potential applications of the colloidal lead chalcogenide quantum dots and rods are also briefly addressed in the article.
Pub.: 17 Jul '13, Pinned: 30 Aug '17
Abstract: Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) attract worldwide scientific and technological attention due to the ability to engineer their optical properties by the variation of their size. However, several important applications, such as biological tagging and photovoltaic cells, impose a limit on their size yet demand tunability and thermal stability of the optical band edge. This work introduces a new class of heterostructures, composed of PbSe or PbSe(y)S(1-y) cores, coated by PbS or PbSe(x)S(1-x) shells, with different core-radius/shell-width division, with a radial gradient composition (with 0 < y < 1, 0 < x < 1), which offer a control of the band edge properties by varying the CQDs' composition. Continuous-wave and transient photoluminescence measurements over a wide temperature range (1.4-300 K) revealed a distinct behavior of the heterostructures with respect to that of pure PbSe cores: (i) increase of the emission quantum yield; (ii) red-shift of the absorption edge but a decrease of the emission Stokes shift; (iii) alleviation of a dark exciton recombination, viz., a reduction of an exchange interaction; (iv) tuning of the radiative lifetime with shell width and composition; (v) reduction of the band edge temperature coefficient, dE/dT, viz., induction of thermal stability. The k·p envelope function calculation, considering abrupt or smooth alloying continuation of the potential at the core-shell interface, revealed a delocalization of the hole wave function over the entire volume of the CQDs, as a partial explanation for the marked tunability, nonetheless preserving a desired size.
Pub.: 16 Oct '10, Pinned: 29 Aug '17
Abstract: The fast degradation of lead selenide (PbSe) nanocrystal quantum dots (NQDs) in ambient conditions impedes widespread deployment of the highly excitonic, thus versatile, colloidal NQDs. Here we report a simple in situ post-synthetic halide salt treatment that results in size-independent air stability of PbSe NQDs without significantly altering their optoelectronic characteristics. From TEM, NMR, and XPS results and DFT calculations, we propose that the unprecedented size-independent air stability of the PbSe NQDs can be attributed to the successful passivation of under-coordinated PbSe(100) facets with atomically thin PbX2 (X = Cl, Br, I) adlayers. Conductive films made of halide-treated ultrastable PbSe NQDs exhibit markedly improved air stability and behave as an n-type channel in a field-effect transistor. Our simple in situ wet-chemical passivation scheme will enable broader utilization of PbSe NQDs in ambient conditions in many optoelectronic applications.
Pub.: 12 Jun '14, Pinned: 29 Aug '17
Abstract: We developed a simple non-hot-injection synthetic route that achieves in situ halide-passivated PbS and PbSe quantum dots (QDs) and simplifies the fabrication of Pb-chalcogenide QD solar cells. The synthesis mechanism follows a temperature-dependent diffusion growth model leading to strategies that can achieve narrow size distributions for a range of sizes. We show that PbS QDs can be produced with a diameter as small as 2.2 nm, corresponding to a 1.7 eV band gap, while the resulting size distribution (6-7%) is comparable to that of hot-injection syntheses. The in situ chloride surface passivation is demonstrated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and an improved photostability of both PbS and PbSe QDs when stored under air. Additionally, the photoluminescence quantum yield of the PbS QDs is ∼30% higher compared to the traditional synthesis. We show that PbS QD solar cells with 6.5% power conversion efficiency (PCE) can be constructed. Finally, we fabricated PbSe QD solar cells in air (rather than in inert atmosphere), achieving a PCE of 2.65% using relatively large QDs with a corresponding band gap of 0.89 eV.
Pub.: 18 Dec '13, Pinned: 29 Aug '17
Abstract: The interface in PbSe/PbS core/shell colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) is subject to strain forces due to a 3% crystallographic mismatch between the constituents. The strain profile in PbSe/PbS CQDs was simulated using the classical linear elasticity model, under the assumption of spherical-symmetric dot and isotropic materials. The derived strain profile was incorporated into a band structure calculation to evaluate the influence on the electronic band-edges of the core/shell CQDs. The electronic energy states evaluated were in close agreement with the absorption edges of various core/shell CQDs with different core diameters and shell thicknesses. Furthermore, the synthesized CQDs underwent thermal annealing at various temperatures, thereby creating the alloying interface; consequently, their absorption and photoluminescence spectra exhibited spectral red-shift compared with the untreated samples. The band gap energy red-shift was simulated by the theoretical model, including smoothing potential at the interface. Measurements of the photoluminescence decays indicated an extension of the radiative lifetime after a controlled annealing process, denoting removal of defect quenchers around the core–shell interface. Thus, the study suggests practical means for mitigating interface strain to leverage the quality of core/shell structures.
Pub.: 21 Nov '16, Pinned: 29 Aug '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: 29 Aug '17
Abstract: The achievement of tunable optical properties across a wide spectral range, along with an efficient surface passivation of lead chalcogenide (PbSe) colloidal quantum dots (CQDs), has significant importance for scientific research and for technological applications. This paper describes two comprehensive pathways to tune optical activities of PbSe CQDs in the near-infrared (NIR, 0.75–1.4 μm) and the short-wave infrared (SWIR, 1.4–3 μm) ranges. A one-pot procedure enabled the growth of relatively large PbSe CQDs (with average sizes up to 14 nm) exploiting programmable temperature control during the growth process. These CQDs showed optical activity up to 3.2 μm. In addition, PbSe/PbS core/shell CQDs prepared by an orderly injection rate led to an energy red-shift of the absorption edge with the increase of the shell thickness, whereas a postannealing treatment further extended the band-edge energy toward the SWIR regime. A better chemical stability of the CQDs with respect to that of PbSe core CQDs was attained by shelling of PbSe by epitaxial layers of PbS, but limited to a short duration (<1 day). However, air stability of the relatively large PbSe as well as the PbSe/PbS CQDs over a prolonged period of time (weeks) was achieved after a postsynthesis chlorination treatment.
Pub.: 12 Aug '16, Pinned: 29 Aug '17