Photoluminescence of Silicon Nanocrystals Embedded in Silicon Oxide
The bonding structure and the optical properties of silicon-rich silicon oxide films which were prepared using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) with thermal oxidation were studied in detail. The composition and bonding structures were explored using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The luminescent properties were studied using Raman spectroscopy and photoluminescence (PL) measurements. Results show that high-temperature (∼1000 °C) annealing of as-deposited Si-rich silicon oxide gives rise to phase separation and formation of crystalline Si phases in the oxide films. Upon high temperature annealing, the PL (550–900 nm) intensity was significantly reduced in stoichiometric oxide or in low Si-content (prepared with [N2O]/[SiH4] gas flow ratio > 2.5) films whereas an opposite trend was found in higher Si-rich samples. Particularly, for the red band (650 nm) and the infrared band (750 nm), the PL intensity was significantly enhanced by annealing slightly Si-rich samples ([N2O]/[SiH4] = 2.5) at 1100 °C. This observation was explained by the formation of Si nanocrystallites via phase separation reaction and the removal of defect-related absorption centers during annealing.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 2009
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