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Photoluminescence of Si Nanocrystallites and Amorphous Oxygen-Containing Si Nanoparticles: The Reversible Effect of Ambient Atmosphere on Luminescence

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Si nanocrystallites of various sizes and oxygen-containing Si nanoparticles with different oxygen contents were prepared by vapor condensation. The Si nanocrystallites showed a visible light emission from 500 nm to 900 nm with the peak at 800 nm, and the intensity of photoluminescence increased with decreasing the particle size. This photoluminescence observed in vacuum could be quenched by air and hydrogen, and reappeared after the sample chamber was evacuated. The oxygen-containing Si nanoparticles consisting mainly of Si oxide were amorphous and had an average particle size of approximately 20 nm. Increasing the oxygen content of nanoparticles caused a blueshift of the absorption edge in the transmission spectra. A blue-green photoluminescence with two peaks at 500 nm and 800 nm was observed from these oxygen-containing Si nanoparticles. The luminescence intensity increased with the oxygen content of nanoparticles, and was very sensitive to the ambient atmosphere. Much lower intensity was observed in air, but higher intensity could be recovered in vacuum. Surface states and oxygen-induced luminescent centers were proposed to be responsible for the photoluminescence from the Si nanocrystallites and oxygen-containing Si nanoparticles, respectively. The reversible ambient effect in both cases could be explained by surface charge redistribution during the gas adsorption and desorption processes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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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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