Namrata Ramesh L&S Sciences
Exploring Self Assembly and Optical Properties of Novel Nanocrystal Superlattices
Superlattices of colloidal nanocrystals are a new class of materials that have been made to self-assemble from a liquid suspension. Their high compositional tunability results in a range of electronic, optical, and mechanical properties. Strong coupling of nanocrystals in the superlattice – a very recent advance – leads to dramatic changes in their energy levels and, consequently, their optical properties. Particularly in semiconductor nanocrystal superlattices, understanding how the coupling of nanocrystals affects the optical gap will fine-tune these already promising optoelectronic materials for many applications. This, along with the comparatively basic equipment needed for synthesis, makes these superlattices optimal candidates for materials used in cost-effective solar cells or next-generation displays. However, there are no extensive optical characterizations of the newer strongly coupled superlattices, as they have only been synthesized in recent years. Therefore, my project aims to study the optical properties of these novel, complex materials and to also compare these properties with those of their more traditional weakly coupled counterparts. This would elucidate the relationships between coupling and luminescence of nanocrystal superlattices.