We report lightly Ag/Mn co-doped CdS/ZnS (core/shell) nanocrystals (NCs) as a model system for studying interactions between co-dopants and between NCs and dopants. The co-doped NCs were prepared with a varying average number of Ag dopant atoms per CdS core of the NC from zero to eight; at the same time, the depth profile of the Mn dopants in the ZnS shells was controlled to be either close to or far from the Ag dopants. The incorporation of an average of one to two Ag dopant atoms per NC increased the band-edge photoluminescence (PL); however, it was quenched at higher doping concentration. This alternation is attributed to change of the Ag ion occupancy from PL-enhancing interstitial sites to PL-quenching substitutional sites. Mn PL increased as the number of Ag atoms per NC increased up to approximately seven and then decreased. For NCs doped only with Ag ions, the Ag dopants in substitutional sites acted as PL-quenching hole traps. In Ag/Mn co-doped NCs, the Ag dopants acted as Dexter-type relay sites that enhanced the energy transfer from NC to Mn ions; this effect increased as the distance between Ag and Mn dopants decreased. This model study demonstrates that the simultaneous control of dopant concentrations and spatial distributions in co-doped semiconductor NCs enables sophisticated control of their optical properties.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering