Characterizing the Quantum-Confined Stark Effect in Semiconductor Quantum Dots and Nanorods for Single-Molecule Electrophysiology

Yung Kuo, Jack Li, Xavier Michalet, Alexey Chizhik, Noga Meir, Omri Bar-Elli, Emory Chan, Dan Oron, Joerg Enderlein, Shimon Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We optimized the performance of quantum-confined Stark effect (QCSE)-based voltage nanosensors. A high-throughput approach for single-particle QCSE characterization was developed and utilized to screen a library of such nanosensors. Type-II ZnSe/CdS-seeded nanorods were found to have the best performance among the different nanosensors evaluated in this work. The degree of correlation between intensity changes and spectral changes of the exciton's emission under an applied field was characterized. An upper limit for the temporal response of individual ZnSe/CdS nanorods to voltage modulation was characterized by high-throughput, high temporal resolution intensity measurements using a novel photon-counting camera. The measured 3.5 μs response time is limited by the voltage modulation electronics and represents ∼30 times higher bandwidth than needed for recording an action potential in a neuron.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4788-4800
Number of pages13
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 19 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Antonio Ingargiola and Kyoungwon Park for discussions on data analysis, Max Ho and Wilson Lin for discussions on thin film fabrication, Andrew Wang and Ocean Nanotech LLC for providing the CdSe/ZnS QDs at no cost, and Prof. Wan Ki Bae for providing the CdS/CdSe/CdS QDs. This research was supported by DARPA Fund No. D14PC00141, by the European Research Council (ERC) advanced grant NVS 669941, by the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) research grant RGP0061/2015, and by the BER program of the Department of Energy Office of Science, grant DE-FC03-02ER63421. Work at the Molecular Foundry was supported by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. This work was also supported by STROBE: A National Science Foundation Science & Technology Center under Grant No. DMR 1548924.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.


  • membrane potential
  • nanorod
  • quantum dot
  • quantum-confined Stark effect
  • single molecule
  • voltage sensor


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