nature-scientific-reports-300x219The origin of visible light emission from nanostructures has been a subject of an intense debate since the early work by L. E. Brus and A. P. Alivisatos in 1980s. The intense research that followed has paved the way towards applications of quantum structures in optoelectronics and in bio-sensing and contributed to the development of nanotechnology. The major new challenge is in accessing the structural, electronic and optical properties of quantum dots on a nanoparticle scale in order to understand complex relationships between structural motifs and their contributions to the relevant physical (e. g. optical and electronic) properties. Here we demonstrate that a combination of molecular dynamics simulations and optically-detected x-ray absorption spectroscopy shows sufficient sensitivity to distinguish between regions contributing to the luminescence signal in oxygen and hydrogen terminated Ge quantum dots, thus potentially providing a sub-nanoparticle resolution.

Click to see the paper in journal’s webpage!