EXCITON ENGINEERING THROUGH TUNALBLE FLUORESCENT QUANTUM DEFECTS
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This thesis demonstrates exciton engineering in semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes through tunable fluorescent quantum defects. By introducing different functional moieties on the sp2 lattice of carbon nanotubes, the nanotube photoluminescence is systematically tuned over 68 meV in the second near-infrared window. This new class of quantum emitters is enabled by a new chemistry that allows covalent attachment of alkyl/aryl functional groups from their iodide precursors in aqueous solution. Using aminoaryl quantum defects, we show that the pH and temperature of complex fluids can be optically measured through defect photoluminescence that encodes the local environment information. Furthermore, defect-bound trions, which are electron-hole-electron tri-carrier quasi-particles, are observed in alkylated single-walled carbon nanotubes at room temperature with surprisingly high photoluminescence brightness. Collectively, the emission from defect-bound excitons and trions in (6,5)-single walled carbon nanotubes is 18-fold brighter than that of the native exciton. These findings pave the way to chemical tailoring of the electronic and optical properties of carbon nanostructures with fluorescent quantum defects and may find applications in optoelectronics and bioimaging.