Interplay of Surface and Interior Modes in Exciton-Phonon Coupling at the Nanoscale

D Jasrasaria and E Rabani, NANO LETTERS, 21, 8741-8748 (2021).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c02953

Exciton-phonon coupling (EXPC) plays a key role in the optoelectronic properties of semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs), but a microscopic picture of EXPC is still lacking, particularly regarding the magnitude and scaling with NC size, the dependence on phonon frequency, and the role of the NC surface. The computational complexity associated with accurately describing excitons and phonons has limited previous theoretical studies of EXPC to small NCs, noninteracting electron-hole models, and/or a small number of phonon modes. Here, we develop an atomistic approach for describing EXPC in NCs of experimentally relevant sizes. We validate our approach by calculating the reorganization energies, a measure of EXPC, for CdSe and CdSe-CdS core-shell NCs, finding good agreement with experimental measurements. We demonstrate that exciton formation distorts the NC lattice primarily along the coordinates of low-frequency acoustic modes. Modes at the NC surface play a significant role in smaller NCs while interior modes dominate for larger systems.

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