We show experimentally that the photoluminescence intermittency (blinking) of single CdSe quantum dots (QDs) is influenced by the dielectric properties of the embedding environment (matrix), the type of ligands and the capping shell. For the on-times, we observe (and tentatively explain) a strong deviation from the commonly reported inverse power law behaviour, which can be taken into account by an exponential cut-off at long times. We assign this component to the photoejection of the electron, while the power law behaviour is a combination of hole- and electron-trapping processes. The cut-off times and their distributions depend strongly on the polarity of the environment. Also, the off-times show, though on a much longer timescale, deviations from the inverse power laws. We suggest a model including surface states and self-trapped states, which quantitatively explains the experimental observations.
- quantum dots
- single-molecule studies
- trap states
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics