Temperature dependence of acoustic vibrations of CdSe and CdSe–CdS core–shell nanocrystals measured by low-frequency Raman spectroscopy†
We measure the temperature dependence of breathing-mode acoustic vibrations of semiconductor nanocrystals using low-frequency Raman spectroscopy. In CdSe core-only nanocrystals, the lowest-energy = 0 mode red-shifts with increasing temperature by ∼5% between 77–300 K. Changes to the interatomic bond distances in the inorganic crystal lattice, with corresponding changes to the bulk modulus and density of the material, contribute to the observed energy shift but do not fully explain its magnitude across all nanocrystal sizes. Invariance of the Raman linewidth over the same temperature range suggests that the acoustic breathing mode is inhomogeneously broadened. The acoustic phonons of CdSe/CdS core–shell composite nanocrystals display similar qualitative behavior. However, for large core–shell nanocrystals, we observe a higher-order Raman peak at approximately twice the energy of the = 0 mode, which we identify as a higher spherical harmonic—the n = 2, = 0 eigenmode—rather than a two-phonon scattering event.