Using first-principles simulations on PbS and CdSe colloidal quantum dots, we find that surface defects form in response to electronic doping and charging of the nanoparticles. We show that electronic trap states in nanocrystals are dynamic entities, in contrast with the conventional picture wherein traps are viewed as stable electronic states that can be filled or emptied, but not created or destroyed. These traps arise from the formation or breaking of atomic dimers at the nanoparticle surface. The dimers' energy levels can reside within the bandgap, in which case a trap is formed. Fortunately, we are also able to identify a number of shallow-electron-affinity cations that stabilize the surface, working to counter dynamic trap formation and allowing for trap-free doping. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-11-009-21
Acknowledgements: This publication is based in part on work supported by Award KUS-11-009-21, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), by the Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence Program, and by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. Computations were performed on the GPC supercomputer at the SciNet HPC Consortium.44 SciNet is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation under the auspices of Compute Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence, and the University of Toronto.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.