CuInS2 nanocrystals with the wurtzite structure show promise for applications requiring efficient energy transport due to their anisotropic crystal structure. We investigate the source of photoluminescence in the near-infrared spectral region recently observed from these nanocrystals. Spectroscopic studies of both wurtzite CuInS2 itself and samples alloyed with Cd or Zn allow the assignment of this emission to a radiative point defect within the nanocrystal structure. Further, by varying the organic passivation layer on the material, we are able to determine that the atomic species responsible for nonradiative decay paths on the nanocrystal surface are Cu- or S-based. Density functional theory calculations of defect states within the material allow identification of the likely radiative species. Understanding both the electronic structure and optical properties of wurtzite CuInS2 nanocrystals is necessary for their efficient integration into potential biological, photovoltaic, and photocatalytic applications.
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© 2016 American Chemical Society.