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  1. Abstract Colloidal quantum wells, or nanoplatelets, show among the lowest thresholds for amplified spontaneous emission and lasing among solution-cast materials and among the highest modal gains of any known materials. Using solution measurements of colloidal quantum wells, this work shows that under photoexcitation, optical gain increases with pump fluence before rolling off due to broad photoinduced absorption at energies lower than the band gap. Despite the common occurrence of gain induced by an electron–hole plasma found in bulk materials and epitaxial quantum wells, under no measurement conditions was the excitonic absorption of the colloidal quantum wells extinguished and gain arising from a plasma observed. Instead, like gain, excitonic absorption reaches a minimum intensity near a photoinduced carrier sheet density of 2 × 10 13  cm −2 above which the absorption peak begins to recover. To understand the origins of these saturation and reversal effects, measurements were performed with different excitation energies, which deposit differing amounts of excess energy above the band gap. Across many samples, it was consistently observed that less energetic excitation results in stronger excitonic bleaching and gain for a given carrier density. Transient and static optical measurements at elevated temperatures, as well as transient X-ray diffraction of the samples,more »suggest that the origin of gain saturation and reversal is a heating and disordering of the colloidal quantum wells which produces sub-gap photoinduced absorption.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 14, 2023
  3. The design/synthesis and characterization of organic donor–acceptor (D–A) dyads can provide precious data allowing to improve the efficiency of classical photo-induced bimolecular interactions/processes. In this report, two novel triplet D–A dyads (4 and 5) were synthesized and fully characterized. While the optical absorption and emission profiles of these new systems exhibit similar spectral structures as that of the triplet donor/sensitizer quinoidal thioamide (QDN), the transient absorption (TA) spectra of these two dyads produced new features that can be associated with triplet transients and charge transfer species. However, the kinetics of the excited-state processes/dynamics is significantly influenced by the geometrical arrangement(s) of donor/acceptor chromophores. Further analysis of the TA data suggests that the dyad with slip-stack geometry (4) is less effective in undergoing both intra- and inter-dyad triplet energy transfer than the dyad with co-facial geometry (5). Subsequently, triplet sensitization of 9,10-diphenylanthracene (DPA) using both dyads led to upconverted photoluminescence via triplet–triplet annihilation of DPA triplet transients. But, it was found that a maximum upconversion quantum yield could be achieved at a low power density using the co-facial type dyad 5. Altogether, these results provide valuable guidance in the design of triplet donor–acceptor dyads, which could be used for light-harvesting/modulation applications.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 12, 2023
  4. The growth in computational ability over the past decades has positively impacted global development, the economy, healthcare, and science. As on-chip components are approaching the atomic scale, alternative paradigms are needed to address the thermal and electronic issues that impose bottlenecks for computing. One approach to address this is with optoelectronics. However, silicon—the backbone of microelectronics—is a poor choice due to its indirect bandgap, while existing optoelectronic materials are incompatible with CMOS infrastructure. Monolayer silicon nanosheets (SiNSs) are an intriguing material that exhibit photoluminescence, and are compositionally-compatible with the CMOS process. Here, we synthesize and characterize monolayer SiNSs, and show spectroscopic evidence that they exhibit a quasi-direct bandgap, which is corroborated by DFT calculations. We probe their thermal stability, demonstrating their structure and photoluminescence are stable beyond the required operating temperatures for computing applications. These optoelectronic properties, CMOS-compatibility, and stability make SiNSs a viable candidate for silicon-based photonics.
  5. The photothermal properties of metal nitrides have recently received significant attention owing to diverse applications in solar energy conversion, photothermal therapies, photoreactions, and thermochromic windows. Here, the photothermal response of titanium nitride nanoparticles is examined using transient X-ray diffraction, in which optical excitation is synchronized with X-ray pulses to characterize dynamic changes in the TiN lattice. Photoinduced diffraction data is quantitatively analyzed to determine increases in the TiN lattice spacing, which are furthermore calibrated against static, temperature-dependent diffraction patterns of the same samples. Measurements of 20 nm and 50 nm diameter TiN nanoparticles reveal transient lattice heating from room temperature up to ∼175 °C for the highest pump fluences investigated here. Increasing excitation intensity drives sublinear increases in lattice temperature, due to increased heat capacity at the higher effective temperatures achieved at higher powers. Temporal dynamics show that higher excitation intensity drives not only higher lattice temperatures, but also unexpectedly slower cooling of the TiN nanoparticles, which is attributed to heating of the solvent proximal to the nanoparticle surface.
  6. Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) represent a promising class of nanomaterials for lasing applications. Currently, one of the key challenges facing the development of high-performance NC optical gain media lies in enhancing the lifetime of biexciton populations. This usually requires the employment of charge-delocalizing particle architectures, such as core/shell NCs, nanorods, and nanoplatelets. Here, we report on a two-dimensional nanoshell quantum dot (QD) morphology that enables a strong delocalization of photoinduced charges, leading to enhanced biexciton lifetimes and low lasing thresholds. A unique combination of a large exciton volume and a smoothed potential gradient across interfaces of the reported CdS bulk /CdSe/CdS shell (core/shell/shell) nanoshell QDs results in strong suppression of Auger processes, which was manifested in this work though the observation of stable amplified stimulated emission (ASE) at low pump fluences. An extensive charge delocalization in nanoshell QDs was confirmed by transient absorption measurements, showing that the presence of a bulk-size core in CdS bulk /CdSe/CdS shell QDs reduces exciton–exciton interactions. Overall, present findings demonstrate unique advantages of the nanoshell QD architecture as a promising optical gain medium in solid-state lighting and lasing applications.