Copper doping in II–VI semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) has sparked enormous debate regarding the oxidation state of Cu ions and their hugely differing consequences in optoelectronic applications. The identity of a magnetically active Cu2+ ion or a magnetically inactive d10 Cu+ ion has generally been probed using optical techniques, and confusion arises from the spatial clutter that is part of the technique. One major probe that could declutter the data obtained from ensemble emission is single-particle fluorescence spectroscopy. In this work, using this very technique along with X-ray absorption spectroscopy probing the local environment of dopant ions, we study Cu-doped II–VI semiconductor NCs to find conclusive evidence on the oxidation state of Cu dopants and hence the mechanism of their emission. Detailed analysis of blinking properties has been used to study the single-particle nature of the NCs.
J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2020, 11, 13, 5367–5372 https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.0c01570
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