- An all-inorganic compound colloidal quantum dot incorporating a highly emissive CdSe core, which is linked by a CdS tunneling barrier to an engineered charge carrier trap composed of PbS, is designed, and its optical properties are studied in detail at the single- particle level. Study of this structure enables a deeper understanding of the link between photoinduced charging and surface trapping of charge carriers and the phenomenon of quantum dot blinking. In the presence of the hole trap, a “gray” emissive state appears, associated with charging of the core. Rapid switching is observed between the “on” and the “gray” state, although the switching dynamics in and out of the dark “off” state remain unaffected. This result completes the links in the causality chain connecting charge carrier trapping, charging of QDs, and the appearance of a “gray” emission state.