An investigation of the effect of an applied electric field on the photoluminescence (PL) intensity of single CdSe nanocrystals has revealed a measurable field induced PL modulation for a large fraction of the nanocrystals studied. The field induced intensity modulation characteristics (i.e. modulation sign and depth) were observed to vary from particle to particle, and even for different time periods for the same particle in many cases. Simultaneous intensity and frequency resolved PL measurement show that the PL intensity modulation is in fact due to an electric field effect on the PL quantum yield. The results are consistent with a model in which the energies of surface charge trapping sites are modulated by the applied electric field, causing in turn a modulation of the rates of exciton quenching by these sites. The complex observed field effects can be explained by the superposition of the applied and internal electric fields due to deeply trapped charges on the surface of the nanoparticle.
- Electric field
- Single molecule spectroscopy