Room-temperature exciton coherence and dephasing in two-dimensional nanostructures

Elsa Cassette, Ryan D Pensack, Benoît Mahler, Gregory D Scholes
Nature Communications 2015, 6: 6086
Electronic coherence has attracted considerable attention for its possible role in dynamical processes in molecular systems. However, its detection is challenged by inhomogeneous line broadening and interference with vibrational coherences. In particular, reports of 'persistent' coherent exciton superpositions at room temperature remain controversial, as the related transitions give typically shorter optical dephasing times of about 10-20 fs. To rationalize these reported long-lived coherences, several models have been proposed, involving strong correlation in the mechanisms of decoherence or that electronic coherences may be sustained by resonant vibrational modes. Here we report a decisive example of electronic coherence occurring in a chemical system in a 'warm and wet' (room-temperature solution) environment, colloidal semiconductor nanoplatelets, where details are not obscured by vibrational coherences nor ensemble dephasing. Comparing the exciton and optical coherence times evidences a partial correlation of fluctuations underlying dephasing and allows us to elucidate decoherence mechanisms occurring in these samples.

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