High-Throughput Characterization of Single-Quantum-Dot Emission Spectra and Spectral Diffusion by Multiparticle Spectroscopy

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In recent years, quantum dots (QDs) have emerged as bright, color-tunable light sources for various applications such as light-emitting devices, lasing, and bioimaging. One important next step to advance their applicability is to reduce particle-to-particle variations of the emission properties as well as fluctuations of a single QD’s emission spectrum, also known as spectral diffusion (SD). Characterizing SD is typically inefficient as it requires time-consuming measurements at the single-particle level. Here, however, we demonstrate multiparticle spectroscopy (MPS) as a high-throughput method to acquire statistically relevant information about both fluctuations at the single-particle level and variations at the level of a synthesis batch. In MPS, we simultaneously measure emission spectra of many (20-100) QDs with a high time resolution. We obtain statistics on single-particle emission line broadening for a batch of traditional CdSe-based core-shell QDs and a batch of the less toxic InP-based core-shell QDs. The CdSe-based QDs show significantly narrower homogeneous line widths, less SD, and less inhomogeneous broadening than the InP-based QDs. The time scales of SD are longer in the InP-based QDs than in the CdSe-based QDs. Based on the distributions and correlations in single-particle properties, we discuss the possible origins of line-width broadening of the two types of QDs. Our experiments pave the way to large-scale, high-throughput characterization of single-QD emission properties and will ultimately contribute to facilitating rational design of future QD structures.