Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Dr. J. Mathias Weber


The burgeoning field of nanotechnology has shown promise for improvements in fields from laser physics, to medicine, to clean energy. In particular, nano-materials’ size-tunable optical and electronic properties offer the ability to build customizable materials from a single atomic or molecular compound. However, despite their potential utility, many properties of nano materials have yet to be fully examined. Cadmium selenide (CdSe) and related CdSe core/shell (CdSe @ (CdS)n) semiconductor quantum dots are one such nano material. While some properties CdSe have been well-studied, others, such as the pressure dependence of the band gap and how a CdSe core may interact with its shell, represent areas where understanding can be improved. This work is concerned with the response of the optical properties of CdSe and CdSe @ (CdS)n quantum dots to high pressure. We find that the band gap of the quantum dots increases with increasing pressure and that this response increases with decreasing quantum dot size. The behavior of CdSe @ (CdS)n core/shell particles may be indicative of shell buckling.

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