Intersubband Relaxation in CdSe Colloidal Quantum Wells

Benjamin T. Diroll*, Richard D. Schaller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The dynamics of intersubband relaxation are critical to quantum well technologies such as quantum cascade lasers and quantum well infrared photodetectors. Here, intersubband relaxation in CdSe colloidal quantum wells, or nanoplatelets, is studied via pump-push-probe transient spectroscopy. An initial interband pump pulse is followed by a secondary infrared push excitation, resonant with intersubband absorption, which promotes electrons from the first conduction band of the quantum well to the second conduction band. A probe pulse monitors subsequent electron cooling to the band edge of the quantum well. Using this technique, intersubband relaxation is studied as a function of critical variables such as colloidal quantum well size and thickness, surface ligand chemistry, temperature, and excitation pulse intensity. Larger quantum well sizes, judicious selection of surface ligand chemistry (e.g., thiolates), low temperatures, and elevated push pulse fluences slow intersubband relaxation. However, compared to resonant intraband relaxation in colloidal quantum dots (up to hundreds of picoseconds), intersubband relaxation in colloidal quantum wells is rapid (<1 ps) under all examined conditions. These experiments indicate that rapid relaxation is driven by both LO phonon and surface scattering. The short time scale of relaxation observed in these materials may hinder intersubband technologies such as mid-infrared detectors, although such rapid relaxation may prove valuable in optical switching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12082-12090
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 22 2020


  • colloidal quantum wells
  • hot carriers
  • intersubband
  • intraband
  • nanoplatelets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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