Los Alamos National Laboratory
Nanotechnology and Advanced Spectroscopy Team

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Victor Klimov

Victor Klimov

Phone: 505-665-8284
Email: klimov@lanl.gov

Google Scholar Profile

Professional Career

  • 2009 - present Director, Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics, an Energy Frontier Research Center of the U.S. Department of Energy
  • 2004 - present LANL Fellow
  • 2001 - present Team Leader, Nanotechnology and Advanced Spectroscopy, Chemistry Division, LANL
  • 2000 - 2009 Thrust Leader, Nanophotonics and Optical Nanomaterials, Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, operated by Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • 1995 - 2001 Technical Staff Member, Chemistry Division, LANL
  • 1993 - 1995 Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Technical University of Aachen, Germany
  • 1992 Visiting Professor, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain 
  • 1990 - 1993 Principal Scientist, Physics Department, Moscow State University
  • 1981 - 1990 Associate, Assistant Professor, Moscow State University and Moscow Institute for Geodesy, Mapping, and Aerial Photography


  • 1993 Doctor of Sciences, Physics and Mathematics, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
  • 1981 Candidate of Sciences (equivalent to PhD), Physics and Mathematics, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia. (Advisors: Profs.  L. V. Keldysh and V. S. Dneprovsky)
  • 1978 Physics Diploma (equivalent to MS), Highest Honors, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.

Awards and Honors

  • 2016 R&D 100 Special Recognition Green Tech Award for “Quantum Dot Solar Windows
  • 2015 Distinguished Richard M. Noyes Lecture in Physical Chemistry (U. Oregon, Oct. 5, 2015)
  • 2013 Humboldt Prize for pioneering studies of photophysical properties of nanocrystal quantum dots.
  • 2011 Achievement Award, for outstanding leadership of the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics.
  • 2007 Distinguished Lecturer, Swiss Minister of Education, Third Cycle Lectures at the Swiss Universities, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and U. Geneva (Sep. 23 – Oct. 3, 2007)
  • 2007 Distinguished Lecture in Nanotechnology, SUNY Buffalo (Feb. 16, 2007)
  • 2007 Distinguished Norman Hascoe Lecture, U. Connecticut (Apr. 23, 2007)
  • 2005 Certificate of Appreciation (Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories)
  • 2004 Fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • 2003 Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • 2003 Fellow of the Optical Society of America
  • 2003 Employee Recognition Award (for the contribution to the establishment of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies.
  • 2001, 1997, 1996 Los Alamos Achievement Award
  • 1999 Los Alamos Fellows’ Prize
  • 1993 Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • 1992 International Science Foundation Award
  • 1978 Lenin’s Fellowship, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Contat Information

MS-J567, Chemistry Division
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545
Office: TA-46, bldg. 535, rm. 235
Phone: (505) 665-8284
Fax: (505) 667-0440
E-mail: klimov@lanl.gov

Research Interests

Photophysics of semiconductor and metal nanostructures with focus on colloidal nanocrystals; carrier relaxation processes; multiexciton phenomena; energy and charge transfer; femtosecond and nonlinear optical spectroscopies; single-nanostructure spectroscopy; photovoltaics; optical gain and lasing.

Current Research Topics Include:

  • Fundamental principles of conversion of light into charge carriers and the nature of primary photexcitations in quantum-confined systems
  • Interfacial energy and charge transfer in nanoscale assemblies 
  • Carrier energy relaxation and recombination in low-dimensional semiconductors
  • Multiparticle interactions in strongly confined semiconductor nanocrystals (e.g., multiexciton spectra and dynamics, Auger recombination, carrier multiplication, etc.)
  • Optical gain and lasing in nanocrystal-based materials
  • Electronic dynamics in hybrid semiconductor-metal nanostructures


Background. Dr. Victor I. Klimov is a Fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Director of the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics (CASP), an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) of the US Department of Energy (DOE), and Leader of the Nanotechnology and Advanced Spectroscopy Team in the Chemistry Division of LANL. He is a Fellow of both APS and OSA and a recipient of the Humboldt Prize. Dr. Klimov is an expert in optical spectroscopy of nanocrystal quantum dots. The quantum dot program built by him at LANL has been highly productive and influential and defined many scientific directions presently pursued by the nanoscience community. He has published >230 peer-reviewed papers cited in the literature >32,600 times; his citation h-index is 91 and i10-index is 209 (Google Scholar).

Education and professional experience. Dr. Klimov earned his Specialist degree in Physics (highest honors) in 1978, and Candidate of Sciences in Physics & Mathematics in 1981 studying at Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) under guidance of Drs. Dneprovskii and Keldysh (member of Russian Academy of Sciences). The focus of his thesis research was on picosecond optical spectroscopy of phase transitions in a high-density electron-hole system in II-VI semiconductors. After defending his thesis, Dr. Klimov continued his research at MSU pursing a Doctor of Sciences (DSc) degree, a distinction given to individuals for establishing a new research direction in their field study. He was awarded the DSc degree in 1993 in recognition of his pioneering work on semiconductor nanocrystals, which laid the foundation for time-resolved and nonlinear optical spectroscopies of these materials. His DSc studies elucidate the roles of various mechanisms for band-edge optical nonlinearities in nanocrystals (Sov. Phys. Solid State 34, 1326, 1992; JETP Lett. 53, 314, 1991). He was the principle driving force behind the first demonstration of lasing in nanocrystal-doped glasses (JETP Lett. 54, 442, 1991), which preceded by several years realization of lasing in epitaxial quantum dots. Furthermore, he and his colleagues established that Auger effects played a much more important role in nanocrystals than in bulk systems (Sol. St. Comm. 74, 555, 1990).
In 1993, Dr. Klimov moved to Aachen, Germany where he joined the Institute for Semiconductors as a Research Fellow of Humboldt Foundation. Here he continued his studies of bulk and nanocrystalline semiconductors with emphasis on ultrafast carrier dynamics prior to establishment of thermal equilibrium. These studies provided first quantitative information on time scales of intraband relaxation in CdS nanocrystals (Phys. Rev. B 53, 1463, 1996) and resulted in the discovery of the transient sub-picosecond “biexciton effect” (Phys. Rev. B 50, 8110,1994).
In 1995, Dr. Klimov moved to the US and joined LANL. He was hired by the Chemistry Division as part of a new effort in femtosecond optical spectroscopy. Initially, his work focused on existing Chemistry Division projects on spectroscopy of fullerens and polymers. In 1997, he was able to receive internal funding for spectroscopic studies of nanocrystals. Around that time, he also established collaboration with Moungi Bawendi (MIT) who provided high-quality colloidal nanocrystals for his work. Eventually, Dr. Klimov built state-of-the-art LANL-based facilities for chemical synthesis and greatly expanded capabilities for ultrafast and single-dot spectroscopies, nanoscale imaging, and quantum dot devices. He also brought in a strong theoretical effort. This unique integration of different research components makes the LANL quantum-dot program one of the most comprehensive in the world.

Research themes and important accomplishments. The underlying theme of Dr. Klimov’s research has been the role of carrier-carrier interactions in quantum-confined semiconductors and specifically their effect on energy relaxation and recombination behaviors.  One important result of his early studies was the first experimental observation of the break-down of “photon bottleneck” in strongly confined quantum dots due to unusually fast, sub-picosecond Auger-type electron-hole energy transfer (Phys. Rev. Lett. 80, 4028, 1998). Further, his research established that carrier-carrier interactions govern multiexciton decay in nanocrystals leading to extremely fast (picosecond timescales) Auger recombination, which exhibited distinct “quantized steps.” These studies also resulted in the discovery of universal volume scaling (V-scaling) of Auger lifetimes (Science 287, 1011, 2000), a very general trend observed for nanocrystals of virtually all studied compositions including both direct and indirect-gap materials (Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 177404, 2009).
This pioneering work on Auger effects was critical to the discovery of colloidal quantum dot lasingreported by the Los Alamos team in 2000 (Science 290, 314, 2000), an important milestone which motivated an avalanche of follow-up studies across the world. The work on Auger phenomena was also essential to the discovery ofcarrier multiplication (multiexciton generation by single photons), published by Schaller & Klimov in 2004 (Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 186601, 2004). These studies resulted in a surge of interest in nanoscale semiconductors as promising materials for exploring novel concept for solar energy conversion. Other novel ideas introduced by Dr. Klimov include the concept of singe-exciton lasing (Nature 447, 441, 2007), “wireless” energy-transfer pumping of nanocrystals (Nature 429, 642, 2004), and "blinking-free" quantum dots (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 5026, 2008).
More recent advances in Dr. Klimov’s group resulting from improved understanding of Auger recombination and new approaches to controlling this phenomenon include elucidation of the efficiency-droop problem in quantum dot LEDs (Nature Comm. 4, 2661, 2013) the development of record-brightness LEDs (>100,000 cd/m2; Adv. Mat. 26, 8034, 2014), the demonstration of continuous-wave quantum-dot lasing with optical pumping (Nature 544, 75, 2017), practical validation of the concepts of “zero-threshold” optical gain and “trion lasing” (Nature Nanotech., doi:10.1038/nnano.2017.189), and the first demonstration of population inversion in colloidal nanocrystals using d.c. electrical injection (Nature Mater., in press, 2017).
Other recent additions to Dr. Klimov’s research agenda, that gain increasing attention in the nanoscience community, include ultrafast photocurrent spectroscopy of quantum dot solids (Nature Commun. 6, 8185, 2015; Nature Phys. 13, 1787, 2017), photophysics of quantum dot luminescent solar concentrators (Nature Phot. 8, 392, 2014; Nature Nanotech. 10, 878, 2015; Nature Energy 1, 16157, 2016; Nature Phot., in press, 2017), and quantum-dot-sensitized photovoltaics (Nature Commun. 4, 2887, 2013).

Scientific leadership. Dr. Klimov is well known in the nanoscience community for his scholarship, enthusiasm, and leadership. At LANL, he leads Nanotechnology and Advanced Spectroscopy Team, which started in 1997 as a single-person effort with an internally funded research project “Artificial atoms probed by femtosecond pulses.” Over time, this effort has grown into a multimillion-dollar research program involving more than 20 scientists across the Laboratory engaged in multidisciplinary research in synthetic nanochemistry, ultrafast and single-dot optical spectroscopies, various types of scanning probe microscopies, microstructural characterization, and the development of exploratory optical and opto-electronic devices. At present, this is one of world’s most comprehensive efforts in nanocrystal quantum dots with strong emphasis on photophysics and device aspects of these materials.
Dr. Klimov’s research in quantum dots has served as one of the “precursors” for the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT), DOE’s Nanoscale Science Research Center jointly operated by LANL and Sandia National Laboratories. He was one of CINT’s founding members and his involvement in this project began in 1999 with the inception of CINT’s concept and continued in the role of the original Leader of the Nanophotonics and Optical Nanomaterials Thrust after CINT received its first round of funding. In 2009, he stepped down as CINT Thrust leader to assume the responsibility of Director of the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics (CASP), launched by DOE that year as part of their network of Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs). 
CASP is another example of a large multi-institutional research effort, which has been spun off as a direct result of scientific breakthroughs produced by Dr. Klimov’s team. In this specific case, it was a discovery of carrier multiplication. This result, reported in Phys. Rev. Lett in 2004, captured attention of numerous researchers and engineers across the world that have been exploring this phenomenon as a potential enabler of generation III photovoltaics. The studies of this process were the original focus of CASP’s research program supplemented by topics such as charge transport and photoconductance in quantum dot assemblies, practical photoconversion with quantum dots and advanced schemes for photon management. As CASP Director, Dr. Klimov coordinates research of ~40 scientists across 2 national laboratories and 5 academic institutions. CASP is now in its 9th year, and under Dr. Klimov’s leadership, it has become the primarily place for exploration of semiconductor nanocrystals in the context of solar energy conversion credited with numerous breakthrough contributions to this field of study.

November 2017

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