Wet-chemically synthesized cesium lead halide nanoparticles have many attractive properties that make them
promising as optical gain media, but generally suffer from poor stability under ambient conditions and an optical gain threshold that is widely believed to be dictated by the need for biexcitons. These conditions make it impractical for such particles to be utilized as gain media given the need to undergo repeated stimulated emission processes at above-threshold pump intensities over long periods of time. We demonstrate that the surface treatment of CsPbBr3 nanoparticles with a mixture of PbBr2, oleic acid, and oleylamine not only raises their fluorescence quantum yield to nearly unity and prolongs their stability in air from days to months, but it also dramatically increases their trion photoluminescence lifetime from ∼0.9 to ∼1.6 ns. Via a combination of time-resolved photoluminescence and transient absorption spectroscopy, we provide evidence for trion gain at sufficiently low pump intensities in which the likelihood of predominantly biexciton-based gain is small. We then show that, in line with theoretical prediction, the amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) threshold of a thin film of surface-treated CsPbBr3 nanoparticles reduces to a record low of ∼1.2 μJ/cm2 with a corresponding average exciton occupancy per nanoparticle of 0.62. The ultralow pump threshold and increased stability allow for stable ASE over millions of laser shots, paving the way for the deployment of these nanoparticles as viable solution-processed optical gain media.
A*STAR Science & Engineering Research Council Public Sector Funding (Project 142100076)