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Structural and Optical Properties of Silicon Nanocrystals Grown by Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition

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Silicon nanocrystals (Si-nc) embedded in SiO2 matrix have been prepared by high temperature thermal annealing (1000–1250 °C) of substoichiometric SiOx films deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Different techniques have been used to examine the optical and structural properties of Si-nc. Transmission electron microscopy analysis shows the formation of nanocrystals whose sizes are dependent on annealing conditions and deposition parameters. The spectral positions of room temperature photoluminescence are systematically blue shifted with reduction in the size of Si-nc obtained by decreasing the annealing temperature or the Si content during the PECVD deposition. A similar trend has been found in optical absorption measurements. X-ray absorption fine structure measurements indicate the presence of an intermediate region between the Si-nc and the SiO2 matrix that participates in the light emission process. Theoretical observations reported here support these findings. All these efforts allow us to study the link between dimensionality, optical properties, and the local environment of Si-nc and the surrounding SiO2 matrix.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: INFM and Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Trento, via Sommarive 14, 38050, Povo, Trento, Italy 2: INFM and Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, via Campi 213/A, 41100 Modena, Italy 3: CNR-IMETEM, Stradale Primosole 50, 95121, Catania, Italy 4: CeFSA, Centro CNR-ITC di Fisica degli Stati Aggregati, 38050, Povo, Trento, Italy 5: INFM Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Catania, Corso Italia 57, 95129 Catania, Italy

Publication date: 2001-06-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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