Chemically synthesized semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) have been extensively studied as a test bed for exploring the physics of strong quantum confinement and as a highly flexible materials platform for the realization of a new generation of solution-processed optical, electronic, and optoelectronic devices. Because of readily tunable, size-dependent emission and absorption spectra, colloidal NCs are especially attractive for applications in light-emitting diodes, solid-state lighting, lasing, and solar cells. It is universally recognized that the realization of these and other prospective applications of NCs requires a detailed understanding of carrier-carrier interactions in these structures, as they have a strong effect on both recombination and photogeneration dynamics of charge carriers. For example, nonradiative Auger recombination is one of the key factors limiting the performance of NC-based lasers and light-emitting diodes. The inverse of this process, carrier multiplication, plays a beneficial role in light harvesting and can be used to boost the efficiency of photovoltaics through increased photocurrent. This article reviews recent progress in the understanding of multicarrier processes in NCs of various complexities, including zero-dimensional spherical quantum dots, quasi-one-dimensional nanorods, and various types of core-shell heterostructures. This review’s specific focus is on recent efforts toward controlling multicarrier interactions using traditional approaches, such as size and shape control, as well as newly developed methods involving interface engineering for suppression of Auger decay and engineering of intraband cooling rates for enhancement of carrier multiplication.


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