Quantum dots: from colloidal nanocrystals to functional solids and devices

Dr. Loredana Protesescu, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Prof. Maria A. Loi, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Prof. Wolfgang Heiss, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Dr. Quinten Akkerman, LMU Munich, Germany

This thematic issue celebrates the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, recognizing substantial contributions to the field of quantum dots (QDs). These nanocrystals, utilizing principles rooted in quantum mechanics, have evolved since the late 1970s, with notable contributions from several researchers across the globe. The journey from initial observations of size-dependent optical properties to the groundbreaking control over the synthesis of colloidal QDs in 1993 represents a pivotal moment when the introduction of the hot injection method facilitated the production of well-defined systems with exceptional optical properties. This simplicity ignited global interest, empowering scientists to explore fundamental questions related to size-dependent physical properties.

The thematic issue aims to highlight the broad impact of colloidal QDs in the fields of LEDs, displays, photodetectors, solar cells, lasers, bioimaging, cancer diagnostics and quantum technologies. Looking ahead, it will emphasize the ongoing challenges and future directions in QD research. The need for advancements in the synthesis of specific materials, such as NIR III–V materials, and a deeper understanding of growth processes, surface properties, and ligand binding will be highlighted.

Contributions to this thematic issue include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • New synthetic methods: novel materials and improved synthesis methods (e.g., ternary systems, high-quality materials for optoelectronics), and machine learning for streamlining synthesis processes to accelerate the discovery of novel QD formulations for diverse applications.
  • New nanostructures: recent developments of core/shell, giant core/shell, doped QDs, and other heterostructures, providing insights into the development of novel nanorods and QD dimers.
  • Size-/structure-dependent properties: investigations into size-dependent phenomena, such as optoelectronic properties, single-photon emission, Rashba spin–orbit coupling, and dielectric response function.
  • Ligand/QD dynamical interactions and ligand effects in directing QD assemblies: studies delving into energy transfer, charge transfer, chirality, and Auger recombination, providing insights for functional systems.
  • Advanced characterization techniques for QDs such as surface-enhanced NMR, in situ spectroscopy, diffraction, and scattering techniques to understand the surface chemistry and mechanistic behavior for QDs chemistry.
  • QD functional solids and devices: incorporation of QDs into functional solids and devices, showcasing developments in solar cells, photodetectors, transparent conductors, and their coupling with plasmons.

Submission deadline: July 31, 2024

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