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Nanoscale. 2016 Feb 7;8(5):2632-8. doi: 10.1039/c5nr06722g.

Detection of quantum well induced single degenerate-transition-dipoles in ZnO nanorods.

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III. Institute of Physics, Georg-August-Universität-Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.
Centre for Nano Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India. and Instrumentation and Applied Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India.
IV. Institute of Physics, Georg-August-Universität-Göttingen, Freidrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.
Instrumentation and Applied Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India.


Quantifying and characterising atomic defects in nanocrystals is difficult and low-throughput using the existing methods such as high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). In this article, using a defocused wide-field optical imaging technique, we demonstrate that a single ultrahigh-piezoelectric ZnO nanorod contains a single defect site. We model the observed dipole-emission patterns from optical imaging with a multi-dimensional dipole and find that the experimentally observed dipole pattern and model-calculated patterns are in excellent agreement. This agreement suggests the presence of vertically oriented degenerate-transition-dipoles in vertically aligned ZnO nanorods. The HRTEM of the ZnO nanorod shows the presence of a stacking fault, which generates a localised quantum well induced degenerate-transition-dipole. Finally, we elucidate that defocused wide-field imaging can be widely used to characterise defects in nanomaterials to answer many difficult questions concerning the performance of low-dimensional devices, such as in energy harvesting, advanced metal-oxide-semiconductor storage, and nanoelectromechanical and nanophotonic devices.


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