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The Role of the Surface in the Doping of Semiconductor Nanocrystals

David J. Norris 

University of Minnesota, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, 421 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States


While a variety of doped semiconductor nanocrystals have been synthesized, no detailed understanding has existed about how this process works or how it can be controlled. Moreover, it was not clear why it is possible to introduce impurities into some semiconductor nanocrystals but not into others. These difficulties have hindered the development of a whole class of new materials, including n-type and p-type semiconductor nanocrystals. Here we discuss a new model based upon kinetics that addresses the doping problem. In particular, we use Mn-doped II-VI semiconductor nanocrystals as a model system to show that: (i) the binding of the impurity to the nanocrystal surface plays a key role in the doping process and (ii) the surfactants in the growth solution can inhibit doping by competitively binding with the impurity. After verifying the central principles of this model, we then use its predictions to incorporate Mn into previously undopable CdSe nanocrystals. Thus, this model should provide future guidance for obtaining a variety of doped semiconductor nanocrystals.


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Presentation: Invited oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2006, Symposium C, by David J. Norris
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2006

Submitted: 2006-05-12 18:19
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44