Solvents Effects on Charge Transfer from Quantum Dots

To predict and understand the performance of nanodevices in different environments, the influence of the solvent must be explicitly understood. In this Communication, this important but largely unexplored question is addressed through a comparison of quantum dot charge transfer processes occurring in both liquid phase and in vacuum. By comparing solution phase transient absorption spectroscopy and gas-phase photoelectron spectroscopy, we show that hexane, a common nonpolar solvent for quantum dots, has negligible influence on charge transfer dynamics. Our experimental results, supported by insights from theory, indicate that the reorganization energy of nonpolar solvents plays a minimal role in the energy landscape of charge transfer in quantum dot devices. Thus, this study demonstrates that measurements conducted in nonpolar solvents can indeed provide insight into nanodevice performance in a wide variety of environments.