Ultrafast vibrationally-induced dephasing of electronic excitations in PbSe quantum dots

Hideyuki Kamisaka, Svetlana V Kilina, Koichi Yamashita, Oleg V Prezhdo
Nano Letters 2006, 6 (10): 2295-300
Vibrationally induced pure-dephasing of electronic states in PbSe quantum dots (QDs) at room temperature is investigated using two independent theoretical approaches based on the optical response function and semiclassical formalisms. Both approaches predict dephasing times of around 10 fs and reproduce the recently measured homogeneous linewidths of optical absorption well. Because dephasing slows down with increasing cluster size, the dephasing times calculated for the small clusters correspond to the lower end of the experimental data. The dephasing is almost independent of the electronic excitation energy and occurs faster for biexcitons than single excitons. The dephasing time is roughly proportional to the square root of the mass of the lighter atom (Se), suggesting that dephasing should be faster in PbS and slower in PbTe relative to PbSe. Core atoms produce stronger dephasing than surface atoms. In the collective description, pure-dephasing occurs via low-frequency acoustic modes, in support of the elastic QD model of dephasing. Because the electron-phonon coupling in PbSe QDs is relatively weak compared to other semiconductor nanocrystals, fast vibrationally induced dephasing can be expected in semiconductor QDs in general.

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