Exciton–Phonon Spectroscopy of Quantum Dots Below the Single-Particle Homogeneous Line Width


We demonstrate that high-dimensionality coherent spectroscopy yields “super-resolved” spectra whereby peaks may be localized far below their homogeneous line width by resolving them across multiple, coherently coupled dimensions. We implement this technique using a fifth-order photon-echo spectroscopy called Gradient-Assisted Multidimensional Electronic–Raman Spectroscopy (GAMERS) that combines resonant and nonresonant excitation to disperse the optical response across three spectral dimensions: two involving excitonic transitions and one that encodes phonon energies. In analogy to super-resolution localization microscopies, which separate spatially overlapping signals in time, GAMERS isolates signals spectrally using combined electronic and nuclear resolution. Optical phonon lines in a colloidal solution of CdSe quantum dots at room temperature separated by less than 150 $μ$eV are resolved despite the homogeneous line width of these transitions being nearly an order of magnitude broader. The frequency difference between these phonon modes is attributed to softening of the longitudinal phonon mode upon excitation to the lowest exciton state. Further, such phonon mode selectivity yields spectra with electronic line widths that approach the single particle limit. Through this enhanced spectral resolution, the GAMERS method yields insights into the nature of coupling between longitudinal optical and acoustic phonons and specific excitonic transitions that were previously hidden.

J. Phys. Chem. Lett.