Surface-enhanced emission from single semiconductor nanocrystals

Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Sep 9;89(11):117401. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.117401. Epub 2002 Aug 23.


The fluorescence behavior of single CdSe(ZnS) core-shell nanocrystal (NC) quantum dots is dramatically affected by electromagnetic interactions with a rough metal film. Observed changes include a fivefold increase in the observed fluorescence intensity of single NCs, a striking reduction in their fluorescence blinking behavior, complete conversion of the emission polarization to linear, and single NC exciton lifetimes that are >10(3) times faster. The enhanced excited state decay process for NCs coupled to rough metal substrates effectively competes with the Auger relaxation process, allowing us to observe both charged and neutral exciton emission from these NC quantum dots.