Emergent properties resulting from type-II band alignment in semiconductor nanoheterostructures

Shun S. Lo, Tihana Mirkovic, Chi Hung Chuang, Clemens Burda, Gregory D. Scholes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

308 Scopus citations


The development of elegant synthetic methodologies for the preparation of monocomponent nanocrystalline particles has opened many possibilities for the preparation of heterostructured semiconductor nanostructures. Each of the integrated nanodomains is characterized by its individual physical properties, surface chemistry, and morphology, yet, these multicomponent hybrid particles present ideal systems for the investigation of the synergetic properties that arise from the material combination in a non-additive fashion. Of particular interest are type-II heterostructures, where the relative band alignment of their constituent semiconductor materials promotes a spatial separation of the electron and hole following photoexcitation, a highly desirable property for photovoltaic applications. This article highlights recent progress in both synthetic strategies, which allow for material and architectural modulation of novel nanoheterostructures, as well as the experimental work that provides insight into the photophysical properties of type-II heterostructures. The effects of external factors, such as electric fields, temperature, and solvent are explored in conjunction with exciton and multiexciton dynamics and charge transfer processes typical for type-II semiconductor heterostructures. The characteristic band alignment of the constituent semiconductor materials in type-II heterostructures promotes spatial separation of the photoexcited carriers. The photophysical properties of these nanoheterostructures are tunable through the variation of their geometric and compositional parameters. The excited state dynamics in these systems are sensitive to external factors such as temperature, the dielectric properties of the solvent, or the presence of external electric fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-197
Number of pages18
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 11 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


  • charge transfer
  • photophysics
  • semiconductor nanocrystals
  • type-II heterostructures


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