Determining the Complex Refractive Index of Neat CdSe/CdS Quantum Dot Films

Dana B. Dement, Mayank Puri, Vivian E. Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Understanding how structural and synthetic factors influence the complex refractive index of quantum dot (QD) solids is crucial to tailoring the light-matter interactions of QD-containing photonic and optoelectronic devices. However, neat QD films are challenging to accurately model as they are a mixture of inorganic core/shell materials and surrounding organic ligands. Furthermore, both the QD film morphology and the complex refractive index vary due to particle size, ligand chain length, and the deposition process. Here, we study the complex refractive index of neat CdSe/CdS core/shell QD films by using variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry to derive the effective complex refractive index using Kramers-Kronig consistent dispersion models. We use this information in conjunction with intrinsic refractive index data of CdSe and CdSe/CdS QDs extracted from solution-state absorption data and effective medium approximations (EMA) to describe neat QD films. We find that EMAs can successfully be used as a tool to approximate the complex refractive index of QD films. This information allows us to better understand packing variations between QD films and more accurately predict the absorption in QD thin films, including those made with core/shell heterostructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21557-21568
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 20 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported partially by the National Science Foundation through the University of Minnesota MRSEC under Award Number DMR-1420013. A portion of this work was carried out in the Minnesota Nano Center which receives partial support from the National Science Foundation through the NNCI program. Part of this work was carried out in the College of Science and Engineering Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which has received capital funding from the NSF through the UMN MRSEC program under Award Number DMR-1420013.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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