My research focuses on understanding the role of surface modification on the electronic structure and the photoluminescence (PL) properties of indium phosphide quantum dots (QDs). Previous studies have shown that the use of Lewis acids as Z-type ligands for surface passivation can significantly enhance the PL quantum yields of colloidal quantum dots. By inhibiting the efficient charge trapping processes of as-synthesized InP quantum dots, an improvement in the PL efficiency can be expected, implicating higher performance in devices such as LEDs, photovoltaics, and transistors. In complement with photophysical studies, I am using Ultraviolet Photoelectron Spectroscopy (UPS) to measure the Fermi level of surface-treated colloidal InP samples to probe the effect of surface dipoles on energetics. The results of this study will be critical for the predictive design of the surface chemistry of Cd-free QDs for energy conversion, storage, and solid state lighting technologies.
Advisor: Brandi Cossairt – Chemistry