Solution-processed quantum dot (QD) lasers are one of the holy grails of nanoscience. They are not yet commercialized because the lasing threshold is too high: one needs >1 exciton per QD, which is difficult to achieve because of fast nonradiative Auger recombination. The threshold can, however, be reduced by electronic doping of the QDs, which decreases the absorption near the band-edge, such that the stimulated emission (SE) can easily outcompete absorption. Here, we show that by electrochemically doping films of CdSe/CdS/ZnS QDs, we achieve quantitative control over the gain threshold. We obtain stable and reversible doping of more than two electrons per QD. We quantify the gain threshold and the charge carrier dynamics using ultrafast spectroelectrochemistry and achieve quantitative agreement between experiments and theory, including a vanishingly low gain threshold for doubly doped QDs. Over a range of wavelengths with appreciable gain coefficients, the gain thresholds reach record-low values of ∼1 × 10-5 excitons per QD. These results demonstrate a high level of control over the gain threshold in doped QD solids, opening a new route for the creation of cheap, solution-processable, low-threshold QD lasers.
- optical gain
- transient absorption spectroscopy
- ultrafast spectroelectrochemistry