Home Chemistry Circumventing the phonon bottleneck by multiphonon-mediated scorching exciton cooling on the nanoscale

Circumventing the phonon bottleneck by multiphonon-mediated scorching exciton cooling on the nanoscale

Circumventing the phonon bottleneck by multiphonon-mediated scorching exciton cooling on the nanoscale


Describing phonon-mediated exciton cooling

We undertake the next Hamiltonian to explain a manifold of excitonic states coupled to vibrational modes, with EXPC expanded to the bottom order within the atomic displacements:46

$$H=mathop{sum}limits_{n}{E}_{n}leftvert {psi }_{n}rightrangle leftlangle {psi }_{n}rightvert +mathop{sum}limits_{alpha }hslash {omega }_{alpha }{b}_{alpha }^{{dagger} }{b}_{alpha }+mathop{sum}limits_{alpha nm}{V}_{n,m}^{alpha }leftvert {psi }_{n}rightrangle leftlangle {psi }_{m}rightvert {q}_{alpha },.$$


The excitonic energies, En, and states, (leftvert {psi }_{n}rightrangle), in addition to the EXPC matrix parts, ({V}_{n,m}^{alpha }), had been calculated utilizing the semiempirical pseudopotential technique coupled with the Bethe-Salpeter equation (see Jasrasaria et al.14,46 and the SI for extra particulars). Phonon modes and frequencies, ωα, had been obtained by diagonalizing the dynamical matrix computed utilizing a previously-parameterized atomic power area48.

In Fig. 2a we present the density of excitonic states scaled by the oscillator strengths for a typical CdSe NC with a diameter of three.9 nm, in addition to the corresponding linear absorption spectrum. We discover that the underlying density of excitonic states is comparatively excessive because of the dense spectrum of gap states. A few of these excitonic states correspond to brilliant transitions from the bottom state with giant oscillator strengths, whereas others correspond to dim transitions for which the oscillator strengths are small. Observe that we solely present the brilliant/dim states, and the darkish (spin-forbidden) transitions usually are not proven. The linear absorption spectrum exhibits a number of distinct options, in settlement with experiments26,49, which are ruled by just a few excitonic transitions with giant oscillator strengths. We label the principle transitions as 1S and 1P, following the literature conference. With the dense manifold of excitonic states, the comfort from the 1P excitonic state, through which the exciton electron is primarily composed of p-like, single-particle electron states, to the 1S floor excitonic state, through which each the exciton electron and gap are primarily comprised of band edge single-particle states, ought to happen via a cascade of phonon-mediated transitions, the place each brilliant and dim excitonic states are concerned.

Fig. 2: Single-phonon-mediated scorching exciton cooling.
figure 2

a The calculated linear absorption spectrum (prime) and density of excitonic states (backside) for a 3.9 nm CdSe NC. The vertical traces within the prime panel point out the magnitude of the oscillator energy of the transition from the bottom state to that excitonic state. Cooling from the 1P to the 1S excitonic states, whose transitions are labeled within the absorption spectrum, is the principle topic of this work. b Single-phonon-mediated scorching exciton cooling simulated for CdSe NCs of various sizes exhibits a phonon bottleneck in smaller NCs as a result of excitonic vitality gaps in these programs are bigger than the best phonon frequencies.

We first think about the restrict of single-phonon processes. We undertake the Redfield equation50 and propagate the lowered density matrix, which describes the subspace of excitons, utilizing a quantum grasp equation that’s perturbative to second order within the EXPC, because the EXPC is weak in comparison with different vitality scales within the NCs studied right here. The dynamics of the exciton populations and coherences are coupled very weakly in these programs, and thus we solely mannequin the inhabitants dynamics. On this restrict, the Redfield equation reduces to a kinetic grasp equation for the populations, the place the transition charges are given by the time-dependent golden rule charges. The phonon-mediated transition fee between excitonic states n and m is given by

$${{{Gamma }}}_{nto m}(t)=frac{1}{{hslash }^{2}}intnolimits_{-t}^{t}dtau{e}^{i({E}_{n}-{E}_{m})tau/hslash }mathop{sum}limits_{alpha }{V}_{n,m}^{alpha }{V}_{m,n}^{alpha }{langle {q}_{alpha }(tau){q}_{alpha }(0)rangle }_{{{{rm{eq}}}}},,$$


the place 〈… 〉eq denotes an equilibrium common over tub coordinates. We computed these charges for all excitonic transitions and used them to construct a kinetic grasp equation and propagate phonon-mediated exciton dynamics:

$${dot{p}}_{n}(t)=mathop{sum}limits_{mne n}left({{{Gamma }}}_{mto n}(t){p}_{m}(t)-{{{Gamma }}}_{nto m}(t){p}_{n}(t)proper),,$$


the place pn(t) is the inhabitants of state n at time t. We then calculated the common vitality above equilibrium, (langle {{Delta }}E(t)rangle ={sum }_{n}{E}_{n}left({p}_{n}(t)-{p}_{n,{{{rm{eq}}}}}proper)), the place ({p}_{n,{{{rm{eq}}}}}={e}^{-beta {E}_{n}}/left({sum }_{m}{e}^{-beta {E}_{m}}proper)) is the inhabitants of state n at thermal equilibrium and (beta ={({okay}_{{{{rm{B}}}}}T)}^{-1}).

As a result of Eq. (1) describes the EXPC to first order within the phonon mode coordinates, the golden rule charges given by Eq. (2) solely account for excitonic transitions that happen by way of the absorption or emission of a single phonon. Whereas the biggest vitality gaps between excitonic states are an order of magnitude smaller than these between single-particle electron states, they will nonetheless be bigger than the phonon frequencies. Thus, transitions between these excitonic states would require the simultaneous emission of a number of phonons. Certainly, single-phonon-mediated cooling simulations for CdSe NCs of various sizes present a phonon bottleneck in NCs smaller than 4.7 nm in diameter (Fig. 2b). This phonon bottleneck is very important in smaller NCs for which confinement ends in bigger excitonic vitality gaps, significantly at low excitonic energies, stopping the recent exciton from absolutely stress-free to the band edge via single-phonon emission.

Multiphonon emission

To account for multiphonon processes and keep the simplicity of the grasp equation, we carried out a unitary polaron transformation51,52,53,54 to the Hamiltonian in Eq. (1):



the place

$$S=-frac{i}{hslash }mathop{sum}limits_{alpha okay}{omega }_{alpha }^{-2}{p}_{alpha }{V}_{okay,okay}^{alpha }leftvert {psi }_{okay}rightrangle leftlangle {psi }_{okay}rightvert ,,$$


and pα is the momentum of phonon mode α. An in depth derivation and outline of the polaron-transformed Hamiltonian and its penalties are given within the Supplementary Data.

With respect to the polaron-transformed Hamiltonian, golden rule transition charges could be computed as

$${{{Gamma }}}_{nto m}(t)=frac{1}{{hslash }^{2}}intnolimits_{-t}^{t}dtau {e}^{i({varepsilon }_{n}-{varepsilon }_{m})tau /hslash }{langle {g}_{n,m}(tau ){g}_{m,n}(0)rangle }_{{{{rm{eq}}}}},,$$


the place εn ≡ En − λn is the vitality of exciton n scaled by its reorganization vitality, and ({g}_{n,m}equiv {sum }_{alpha }{tilde{V}}_{n,m}^{alpha }{q}_{alpha }-{tilde{lambda }}_{nm}) is the coupling between the polaronic states n and m (see the SI for extra particulars). Once more, we computed all transition charges to construct a kinetic grasp equation and propagate dynamics. Inside this framework, we calculate the common vitality above thermal equilibrium as earlier than; particularly, as (langle {{Delta }}varepsilon (t)rangle ={sum }_{n}{varepsilon }_{n}left({p}_{n}(t)-{p}_{n,{{{rm{eq}}}}}proper)).

Observe that gn,m consists of exponential capabilities of the phonon momenta, so multiphonon-mediated transitions are accounted for even within the lowest order perturbation concept fee given by Eq. (6). Together with multiphonon processes allows transitions between excitonic states which have vitality variations which are bigger than the highest-frequency phonons. Multiphonon-mediated cooling simulations present that every one NC programs absolutely loosen up to thermal equilibrium (Fig. 3a), indicating that multiphonon transitions involving just a few phonon modes are important to the cooling mechanism. Moreover, the common vitality relaxes inside 100 fs, a lot sooner throughout the single-phonon scheme. The simulated common vitality normalized to the vitality of the thermal equilibrium state for every CdSe NC is illustrated in Supplementary Fig. 2.

Fig. 3: Multiphonon-mediated scorching exciton cooling.
figure 3

a Sizzling exciton cooling simulated for CdSe cores of various sizes. The inclusion of multiphonon processes permits all programs to loosen up to thermal equilibrium, eliminating the phonon bottleneck. b Exciton transition charges calculated for a 3.9 nm CdSe NC throughout the single-phonon and multiphonon schemes. The only-phonon charges vanish for transition energies bigger than the best phonon frequency whereas the multiphonon charges cowl a variety of transition energies.

Inspecting the transition fee as a perform of transition vitality for a 3.9 nm CdSe NC, illustrated in Fig. 3b, demonstrates that the single-phonon charges are bigger for low-energy transitions, however there aren’t any single-phonon transitions between excitonic states which have vitality variations larger than ~32 meV (i.e., larger than the biggest phonon vitality). The multiphonon charges, nonetheless, cowl the complete vary of transition energies. Importantly, multiphonon rest between excitonic states with vitality variations of 100 meV or much less constantly have comparatively excessive charges (starting from 10−3 − 102 ps−1 for multiphonon transitions as in comparison with 0−102 ps−1 for single-phonon transitions). This distinction makes accessible many extra rest channels and results in a cooling timescale that’s an order of magnitude sooner than that ensuing from single-phonon processes alone. The quick multiphonon rest is a results of the massive variety of phonon modes (roughly 3000 modes for a 3.9 nm CdSe NC) that quasi-continuously span a large frequency vary and which are all coupled, to some extent, to excitonic transitions. Thus, many phonon combos fulfill the vitality conservation requirement for phonon-mediated exciton transitions, resulting in environment friendly rest by way of the emission of a number of phonons.

The asymmetry in charges about 0 meV transition vitality displays detailed stability (see Strategies for extra particulars). Moreover, Fig. 3b exhibits a Gaussian relationship between the transition vitality and the transition fee as an alternative of the exponential dependence of the speed on the vitality that outcomes from the idea that solely the highest-frequency modes take part in nonradiative transitions55. This outcome signifies that lower-frequency acoustic and optical modes are necessary to this cooling course of, extending earlier expectations that solely high-frequency optical modes could be liable for cooling15,28.

Determine 3a additionally demonstrates that smaller NCs loosen up extra shortly to thermal equilibrium than bigger NCs. Resulting from stronger quantum confinement, smaller NCs have extra vitality to dissipate in the course of the cooling course of. Smaller NCs even have bigger excitonic gaps and a smaller variety of phonon modes. Nonetheless, smaller NCs have stronger EXPC than bigger NCs46, leading to total sooner cooling timescales for smaller NCs.

Controlling the cooling timescales

The longer cooling timescales for bigger CdSe NCs means that controlling the magnitude of EXPC might enable for tuning of the recent exciton cooling timescale. CdSe-CdS core-shell NCs have EXPC that’s about 5 occasions smaller than that of naked cores on account of suppression of exciton coupling to lower-frequency floor modes46. Determine 4a compares simulations of the cooling course of for a 3.9 nm CdSe core and a 3.9 nm CdSe core with 3 monolayers of CdS shell. Due to the quasi-type II band alignment in CdSe-CdS core-shell NCs, the exciton gap is confined to the CdSe core whereas the electron considerably delocalizes into the CdS shell56. This decreased quantum confinement results in a smaller 1P-1S excitonic hole in core-shell NCs, so scorching excitons have much less vitality to dissipate in core-shell NCs than in naked cores. Nonetheless, cooling nonetheless takes about 5 occasions longer within the core-shell NC because of the weaker EXPC.

Fig. 4: Cooling in CdSe and CdSe-CdS core-shell NCs.
figure 4

a Sizzling exciton cooling simulated for a 3.9 nm CdSe NC and a 3.9 nm CdSe–3 monolayer CdS core-shell NC. Cooling within the core-shell NC happens 5 occasions slower on account of lowered EXPC. b Multiphonon transition charges calculated for a similar CdSe and CdSe-CdS core-shell NCs, indicating that the charges for the core-shell NC are an order of magnitude smaller than that of the naked CdSe NC. c Calculated spectral densities for a similar CdSe and CdSe-CdS core-shell NCs. The core-shell NC exhibits stronger EXPC to the CdSe optical modes (round 7.5 THz) than the naked CdSe NC. Nonetheless, the naked CdSe NC has stronger coupling to lower- and mid-frequency modes, demonstrating that exciton coupling to a quasi-continuous frequency vary of phonons is important for environment friendly multiphonon rest.

The multiphonon transition charges for each programs are proven in Fig. 4b, demonstrating that charges are a number of orders of magnitude smaller within the core-shell NC than within the naked core. For transitions with energies of 100 meV or much less, the multiphonon rest charges vary from 10−3 − 102 ps−1 for the CdSe NC and from 10−4 − 101 ps−1 for the CdSe-CdS core-shell NC.

We are able to additional perceive the function of EXPC within the cooling mechanism by inspecting the spectral densities, which describe the phonon densities of states weighted by the EXPC, of the core and core-shell NCs (Fig. 4c). The spectral density of the CdSe core exhibits important EXPC to acoustic modes with frequencies of 4.0 THz or much less, in addition to optical modes between 7.5 and eight.0 THz46,47. The core-shell NC, nonetheless, has negligible EXPC at decrease phonon frequencies, because the presence of the CdS shell prevents coupling to delocalized and surface-localized modes at these frequencies, however it has barely stronger coupling to the CdSe optical modes. These outcomes present additional proof that each acoustic and optical modes play a vital function within the cooling course of. Exciton coupling to phonons with a quasi-continuous frequency vary permits for resonance circumstances to be extra simply glad; for each excitonic vitality hole, a set of phonons with the corresponding vitality is well discovered. Nonetheless, exciton coupling to phonons solely inside a slim vitality vary restricts the set of phonons that may fulfill the mandatory resonance circumstances.

Vitality loss charges

To permit for extra significant comparability between our calculations and experimental measurements, we simulate modifications within the absorption spectrum of a system initially excited to the 1P excitonic state because it relaxes to the 1S floor excitonic state. Assuming that the electrical area, ({{{mathcal{E}}}}), is weak such that the inhabitants of the bottom state stays roughly 1 and that the inhabitants of the excited state is proportional to ({{{{mathcal{E}}}}}^{2}), the change in absorption is given by

$$start{array}{rc}{{Delta }}sigma (omega ,t)&={sigma }_{{{{rm{exc}}}}}(omega )-{sigma }_{{{{rm{gs}}}}}(omega ,t) &propto omega {{{{mathcal{E}}}}}^{2}mathop{sum}limits_{n}| {{{{boldsymbol{mu }}}}}_{n} ^{2}{p}_{n}(t)delta (omega -{E}_{n}),,finish{array}$$


the place μn is the transition dipole second from the bottom state to excitonic state n and pn(t) is the inhabitants of excitonic state n at time t.

The change in absorption, Δσ(ω, t), exhibits a quick decay of the 1P excitonic peak and a slower rise of the 1S floor excitonic peak (Supplementary Fig. 3). The dynamics of the rise of the 1S peak replicate these of scorching exciton cooling. For every system, the rise dynamics had been match to an exponential perform, and the extracted timescale was divided by the vitality distinction between the 1P and 1S excitonic peaks to yield an vitality loss fee. The calculated vitality loss charges are illustrated in Fig. 5a together with these measured experimentally utilizing transient absorption spectroscopy26 and state-resolved pump-probe spectroscopy30 on wurtzite CdSe NCs. In settlement with experiment, our simulations present sooner vitality loss charges for smaller CdSe NCs. Smaller NCs have bigger excitonic gaps on account of quantum confinement and a smaller variety of phonon modes, however they’ve stronger EXPC than bigger NCs. Equally, core-shell NCs, which have considerably weaker EXPC to lower-frequency acoustic modes46, present vitality loss charges which are an order of magnitude slower than these of naked cores.

Fig. 5: Vitality loss charges.
figure 5

a The vitality loss charges calculated for CdSe and CdSe-CdS core-shell NCs. Core-shell buildings all have 3 monolayers of shell. The black symbols correspond to measurements carried out on CdSe NCs utilizing transient absorption spectroscopy by Klimov et al.26 and state-resolved pump-probe spectroscopy by Cooney et al.30 Vertical gray traces correspond to experimental error bars. b The vitality loss charges calculated for two.2 nm CdSe and three.9 nm CdSe NCs present a linear dependence on temperature with a stronger temperature-dependence for the two.2 nm CdSe NC.

Whereas Fig. 5a initially means that the calculated vitality loss charges for CdSe NCs are bigger than the measured values (however throughout the experimental error bars), these experiments use ~100 fs pulses that obscure the statement of dynamics between states with spectral overlap57, like these measured right here, they usually measure NCs with very low photoluminescence quantum yields of round 1%, the place service trapping might result in dynamics that complicate the recent exciton cooling course of. Two-dimensional digital spectroscopy (ES) measurements, that are capable of clearly resolve the options comparable to excitonic rest, on 3.5 nm CdSe NCs present that scorching exciton cooling from the higher-energy 1S excitonic peak to the bottom excitonic peak happens inside ~30 fs57, which is in line with our findings. Moreover, newer two-dimensional ES experiments observe that cooling slows by an order of magnitude with the addition of a shell to a CdSe core58, in settlement with our calculated outcomes.

Whereas altering the dimensions and composition of NCs is one avenue for tuning the cooling timescale, altering the temperature is one other. The vitality loss charges for two.2 nm CdSe and three.9 nm CdSe NCs simulated at completely different temperatures are illustrated in Fig. 5b. For each NCs, the vitality loss charges are ~0.1 eVps−1 at 10 Ok, they usually monotonically enhance with temperature, as anticipated for phonon-mediated processes. Whereas each programs present a linear relationship between vitality loss fee and temperature, the speed for the two.2 nm NC exhibits a stronger dependence on temperature than that of the three.9 nm NC. This steeper scaling with growing temperature could also be a results of the stronger quantum confinement within the 2.2 nm NC, which results in bigger vitality gaps between excitonic states. Thus, multiphonon processes at bigger transition energies are extra necessary. As these transition charges are very delicate to temperature (Supplementary Fig. 4), the general cooling course of in smaller NCs has a stronger temperature dependence. Curiously, as proven in Supplementary Fig. 5, the single-phonon-mediated cooling course of additionally relies on temperature, however the dynamics converge above a threshold temperature. The edge temperature is ~300 Ok for the two.2 nm CdSe NC, whereas it’s ~50 Ok for the three.9 nm CdSe. Once more, this outcome could also be because of the bigger excitonic gaps within the smaller NC system. Observe that our mannequin given by Eq. (1) consists of EXPC to lowest order within the phonon mode coordinates and ignores higher-order phrases (Duschinsky rotations), which can affect the recent exciton cooling course of at increased temperatures59.

Mechanistic perception

Lastly, we examine the mechanism underlying this ultrafast scorching exciton cooling course of. We calculated the density of excitonic states for a 3.9 nm CdSe NC and scaled it by the time-dependent inhabitants, as illustrated in Fig. 6a. We see that cooling happens by way of a cascade of rest occasions via the manifold of excitonic states, versus being dominated by a single or just a few higher-energy nonradiative transitions, as anticipated beforehand15,16,28.

Fig. 6: Mechanistic particulars of scorching exciton cooling in CdSe NCs.
figure 6

a The calculated density of excitonic states of a 3.9 nm CdSe NC scaled by the time-dependent inhabitants exhibits that scorching exciton cooling happens by way of a cascade of rest occasions. b Projection of exciton cooling dynamics for a similar CdSe NC onto a single-particle, electron/gap image exhibits consistency with the Auger cooling mechanism. Gap rest is adopted by an Auger-like course of that results in electron rest to the band edge and gap re-excitation. The outlet then relaxes once more.

We wished to know the connection between this multiphonon-mediated scorching exciton cooling mechanism (Fig. 1c) and the Auger-assisted cooling mechanism (Fig. 1b), which was first proposed to clarify the breaking of the phonon bottleneck33. The Auger rest occasion (i.e., the trade of two electron-hole pairs, as illustrated within the second panel of Fig. 1b) is inherently included within the Bethe-Salpeter method adopted right here. Moreover, in our excitonic image, we see that the general scorching exciton cooling course of happens by way of a cascade of rest occasions. Thus, to make contact between our simulations and the Auger cooling mechanism, we projected our simulated exciton cooling dynamics for a 3.9 nm CdSe NC onto a single-particle image of noninteracting electron-hole pair states (see SI for extra particulars). As proven in Fig. 6b, we discover that the Auger cooling mechanism emerges naturally from our excitonic dynamics. The outlet shortly relaxes to the band edge by way of multiphonon emission adopted by electron rest by ~400 meV that ends in gap re-excitation, after which the outlet as soon as once more relaxes to the band edge by multiphonon emission. This outcome signifies that each Coulomb-mediated electron-hole correlations, that are inherent in our formalism, and multiphonon-mediated excitonic transitions are required to bypass the phonon bottleneck and result in ultrafast timescales of scorching exciton cooling. These mechanistic insights are constant for core-shell NCs, as illustrated in Supplementary Fig. 6.

In conclusion, scorching exciton cooling in confined semiconductor NCs includes wealthy physics, together with electron-hole correlations, EXPC, and multiphonon-mediated nonradiative transitions—all of that are required to interrupt the phonon bottleneck and allow quick rest of scorching excitons to the band edge. We’ve developed an atomistic concept that describes multiphonon-mediated exciton dynamics in NCs of experimentally related sizes. Our method yields cooling timescales of tens of femtoseconds, that are in line with measurements of comparable programs. These ultrafast timescales are enabled by a cascade of multiphonon-mediated transitions between excitonic states which are comparatively shut in vitality. These nonradiative transitions are environment friendly, because the excitons are coupled to a lot of phonon modes in NCs that span a large frequency vary. The timescale of cooling is ruled largely by the general magnitude of EXPC, in order that bigger cores present slower rest, and core-shell NCs present rest that’s slower by an order of magnitude.

Our method supplies basic insights to phonon-mediated exciton dynamics on the nanoscale, which differ considerably from these in molecular and bulk semiconductor programs. These simulations present a unified, microscopic concept for decent exciton cooling in nanoscale programs that addresses longstanding questions concerning the timescales and mechanisms of this course of and that gives design rules for NCs with tuned EXPC and cooling timescales. The framework introduced right here is sufficiently basic that it may be used to review timescales and mechanisms of exciton dephasing and service trapping. Moreover, it may be used to research dynamics in NCs of various dimensionalities, comparable to in nanorods and nanoplatelets, and supplies, together with III-V semiconductors, so long as EXPC is weak. Additional elucidating the rules of phonon-mediated dynamics on the nanoscale is vital to finally tuning these processes to appreciate novel phenomena in NC programs and NC-based functions with increased system efficiencies.



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