Namrata Ramesh

Exploring Self Assembly and Optical Properties of Novel Nanocrystal Superlattices

Superlattices of colloidal nanocrystals are a new class of materials that have been made to self-assemble from a liquid suspension. Their high compositional tunability results in a range of electronic, optical, and mechanical properties. Strong coupling of nanocrystals in the superlattice – a very recent advance – leads to dramatic changes in their energy levels and, consequently, their optical properties. Particularly in semiconductor nanocrystal superlattices, understanding how the coupling of nanocrystals affects the optical gap will fine-tune these already promising optoelectronic materials for many applications. This, along with the comparatively basic equipment needed for synthesis, makes these superlattices optimal candidates for materials used in cost-effective solar cells or next-generation displays. However, there are no extensive optical characterizations of the newer strongly coupled superlattices, as they have only been synthesized in recent years. Therefore, my project aims to study the optical properties of these novel, complex materials and to also compare these properties with those of their more traditional weakly coupled counterparts. This would elucidate the relationships between coupling and luminescence of nanocrystal superlattices.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you so much Anselm M&PS Fund, for enabling me to do a summer of challenging and rewarding research. I feel very grateful to have been able to work in a lab that I feel at home in, do work that fascinates me, and conduct research alongside gifted researchers. This summer I went to a synchrotron for the first time and worked on a very unique and challenging experiment, which was the highlight of the program for me, so thank you for giving me this opportunity. I also really enjoyed presenting my work at the SURF conference, as I invited my friends and my mentors and was happy to appraise them of my work.
  • Major: Physics
  • Sponsor: Anselm Fund
  • Mentor: Naomi Ginsberg