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Band Edge Dynamics and Multiexciton Generation in Narrow Band Gap HgTe Nanocrystals

Livache, Clément, Goubet, Nicolas, Martinez, Bertille, Jagtap, Amardeep, Qu, Junling, Ithurria, Sandrine, Silly, Mathieu G., Dubertret, Benoit, Lhuillier, Emmanuel
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2018 v.10 no.14 pp. 11880-11887
detectors, energy, nanocrystals, photons
Mercury chalcogenide nanocrystals and especially HgTe appear as an interesting platform for the design of low cost mid-infrared (mid-IR) detectors. Nevertheless, their electronic structure and transport properties remain poorly understood, and some critical aspects such as the carrier relaxation dynamics at the band edge have been pushed under the rug. Some of the previous reports on dynamics are setup-limited, and all of them have been obtained using photon energy far above the band edge. These observations raise two main questions: (i) what are the carrier dynamics at the band edge and (ii) should we expect some additional effect (multiexciton generation (MEG)) as such narrow band gap materials are excited far above the band edge? To answer these questions, we developed a high-bandwidth setup that allows us to understand and compare the carrier dynamics resonantly pumped at the band edge in the mid-IR and far above the band edge. We demonstrate that fast (>50 MHz) photoresponse can be obtained even in the mid-IR and that MEG is occurring in HgTe nanocrystal arrays with a threshold around 3 times the band edge energy. Furthermore, the photoresponse can be effectively tuned in magnitude and sign using a phototransistor configuration.