Cesium Lead Bromide Quantum Dot Superlattices: Quantifying Structural Heterogeneity and Its Influence on Exciton Delocalization

Daniel E Clark, Purdue University


Colloidal cesium lead bromide (CsPbBr3) quantum dots (QDs) have emerged as an exciting class of quantum emitters due to their near-unity quantum yields, large oscillator strengths, and long coherence time. Ordered superlattices (SLs) grown from these QDs exhibit emergent properties resulting from their assembly. In this work, we explore the self-assembly, disorder, and superradiant properties of 3D superlattices of CsPbBr3 to understand how structural heterogeneity influences optical properties. A thorough understanding of the competition between coherence and dephasing from phonon scattering and energetic disorder is currently lacking in the literature. Here, we present an investigation of exciton coherence in perovskite QD solids using temperature-dependent photoluminescence linewidth and lifetime measurements. The properties of perovskite QDS described above should also enable them to overcome hurdles experienced by other materials that limit solid-state superradiance, such as fast dephasing processes from inherent disorder and thermal fluctuations. Our results demonstrate that excitons can coherently delocalize in highly ordered CsPbBr3 superlattices leading to superradiant emission. We observe loss of coherence and exciton localization to a single QD at higher temperatures, resulting from scattering by optical phonons. At low temperatures, static disorder and defects limit exciton coherence, and a wide range of coherence numbers are observed across a self-assembled sample of SLs. These results highlight the promise and challenge in achieving long-range coherence in perovskite QD solids. A thorough understanding of structural heterogeneity in CsPbBr3 quantum dot superlattices is necessary for the realization of robust exciton coherence in these systems. 3D SLs self-assemble from a colloidal solution of cubic QDs as the solvent evaporates, leading to SLs ranging widely in macroscopic size, shape, and aspect ratio. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) coupled to fast-Fourier transform (FFT) analysis is utilized to characterize the structural properties of individual SLs, such as the average constituent quantum dot size, size dispersity, and number of crystalline domains. Analysis reveals that SLs are structurally heterogeneous but tend to have a narrower size distribution than the precursor solution due to size selection that occurs during evaporative self-assembly. We directly correlate STEM-FFT structural properties to low-temperature photoluminescence spectra for individual SLs, demonstrating that substructure in the photoluminescence peak arises from multiple, locally-ordered domains within the SL. In addition, we show that long-range structural disorder in a SL does not necessarily impact short-range phenomena such as exciton delocalization.




Li, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Physical chemistry|Quantum physics|Analytical chemistry|Condensed matter physics

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