This Perspective discusses the phenomenon of trapped-hole diffusion in colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals. Surface charge-carrier traps are ubiquitous in nanocrystals and often dictate the fate of photoexcited carriers. New measurements and calculations are unveiling the nature of the nanocrystal surface, but many challenges to understanding the dynamics of trapped carriers remain. In contrast to the view that trapped holes are stationary, we have put forward a series of reports demonstrating that trapped holes on the surfaces of CdS and CdSe nanocrystals are mobile and move between traps in a sequence of hops. We summarize how these findings advance the understanding of carrier dynamics in colloidal nanocrystals and how they may impact a broad set of excited-state behaviors in these materials.
Utterback, J. K., Cline, R. P., Shulenberger K. E., Eaves, J. D., and Dukovic, G. The Motion of Trapped Holes on Nanocrystal Surfaces. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 11(22), 9876-9885. 2020