Optical and Physical Probing of Thermal Processes in Semiconductor and Plasmonic Nanocrystals

Benjamin T. Diroll*, Matthew S. Kirschner, Peijun Guo, Richard D. Schaller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This article reviews thermal properties of semiconductor and emergent plasmonic nanomaterials, focusing on mechanisms through which hot carriers and phonons are produced and dissipated as well as the related impacts on optoelectronic properties. Elevated equilibrium temperatures, of particular relevance for implementation of nanomaterials in devices, affect absorptive and radiative transitions as well as emission efficiency that can present reversible and irreversible changes with temperature. In noble metal or doped semiconductor/insulator nanomaterials, hot carriers and lattice heating can substantially influence localized surface plasmon resonances and yield large ultrafast changes in transmission or strongly oscillatory coherences. Transient optical and diffraction characterizations enable nonequilibrium investigations of phonon dynamics and cooling such as lattice expansion and crystal phase stability. Timescales of nanoparticle thermalization with surroundings and transport of heat within films of such materials are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-377
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
StatePublished - Jun 14 2019


  • Optical probe
  • Phonon dynamics
  • Photoluminescence
  • Plasmon
  • Semiconductor nanocrystal
  • Thermal excitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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