Electron-Hole Correlations Govern Auger Recombination in Nanostructures

John P. Philbin*, Eran Rabani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fast nonradiative decay of multiexcitonic states via Auger recombination is a fundamental process affecting a variety of applications based on semiconductor nanostructures. From a theoretical perspective, the description of Auger recombination in confined semiconductor nanostructures is a challenging task due to the large number of valence electrons and exponentially growing number of excited excitonic and biexcitonic states that are coupled by the Coulomb interaction. These challenges have restricted the treatment of Auger recombination to simple, noninteracting electron-hole models. Herein we present a novel approach for calculating Auger recombination lifetimes in confined nanostructures having thousands to tens of thousands of electrons, explicitly including electron-hole interactions. We demonstrate that the inclusion of electron-hole correlations are imperative to capture the correct scaling of the Auger recombination lifetime with the size and shape of the nanostructure. In addition, correlation effects are required to obtain quantitatively accurate lifetimes even for systems smaller than the exciton Bohr radius. Neglecting such correlations can result in lifetimes that are two orders of magnitude too long. We establish the utility of the new approach for CdSe quantum dots of varying sizes and for CdSe nanorods of varying diameters and lengths. Our new approach is the first theoretical method to postdict the experimentally known "universal volume scaling law" for quantum dots and makes novel predictions for the scaling of the Auger recombination lifetimes in nanorods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7889-7895
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - 12 Dec 2018


FundersFunder number
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science
University of California Lab Fee Research ProgramLFR−17−477237


    • Auger recombination
    • biexcitons
    • excitons
    • nanorods
    • quantum dots
    • semiconductor nanocrystals


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