Energy transfer in hybrid organic/inorganic nanocomposites

Thilo Stöferle, Ullrich Scherf, Rainer F Mahrt
Nano Letters 2009, 9 (1): 453-6
Chemically synthesized colloidal quantum dots can easily be incorporated into conjugated polymer host systems allowing for novel organic/inorganic hybrid materials combining the natural advantages from both organic as well as inorganic components into one system. In order to obtain tailored optoelectronic properties, a profound knowledge of the fundamental electronic energy transfer processes between the inorganic and organic parts is necessary. Previous studies have attributed the observed efficient energy transfer to a dipole-dipole coupling with Förster radii of about 50-70 A. Here, we report on resonant energy transfer of nonequilibrium excitons in an amorphous polyfluorene donor CdSe/ZnS core-shell nanocrystal acceptor system. By time-resolved photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, we have investigated the PL decay behavior of the primarily excited polyfluorene as a function of temperature. We show that the transfer efficiency drops from about 30% at room temperature to around 5% at low temperature. These results shed light on the importance of temperature-activated exciton diffusion in the energy transfer process. As a consequence the exciton has to migrate very close to the surface of the quantum dot in order to couple to the quantum dot. Hence, the coupling strength is much weaker than that anticipated in previous work and requires treatment beyond Förster theory.

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