Chapter 9. Photoluminescence from Single Semiconductor Nanostructures

  1. Professor Zhong Lin Wang
  1. Stephen Empedocles,
  2. Robert Neuhauser,
  3. Kentaro Shimizu and
  4. Moungi Bawendi

Published Online: 8 OCT 2001

DOI: 10.1002/3527600094.ch9

Characterization of Nanophase Materials

Characterization of Nanophase Materials

How to Cite

Empedocles, S., Neuhauser, R., Shimizu, K. and Bawendi, M. (1999) Photoluminescence from Single Semiconductor Nanostructures, in Characterization of Nanophase Materials (ed Z. L. Wang), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim, FRG. doi: 10.1002/3527600094.ch9

Editor Information

  1. Georgia Institute of Technology School of Materials Science and Engineering Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0245 USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Chemistry, 6-223 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 OCT 2001
  2. Published Print: 11 NOV 1999

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527298372

Online ISBN: 9783527600090



  • photoluminescence;
  • single nanocrystal imaging;
  • polarization spectroscopy;
  • Stark spectroscopy;
  • spectral diffusion;
  • spectral diffusion shifts


We review some recent results in the spectroscopy of single CdSe nanocrystals quantum dots. By eliminating the effects of inhomogeneous broadening and ensemble averaging, single nanocrystal spectroscopy has revealed many new and previously unexpected physical phenomena. Among those discussed in this chapter are ultra-narrow emission lineshapes (∼ 600 × narrower than ensemble spectra), a higher polarizable emitting state in the presence of strong local electrical fields, linebroadening as a result of environmental fluctuations and shifting of the emission spectra over a wide range of energies (from less than 300 µeV to 80 meV). In addition, polarization spectroscopy of single nanocrystals has revealed the presence of a theoretically predicted 2 dimensional transition dipole moment oriented in the x-y plane of the nanocrystals. As a result, it is, in principle, possible, to use polarization spectroscopy to determine the 3 dimensional orientation of individual nanocrystals. These and other studies of single quantum dots have provided us with significant insight into the detailed physics and dynamics of this unique and fascinating physical system.