Photoluminescence from silicon nanoparticles embedded in ammonium silicon hexafluoride
Journal article, 2010

Silicon (Si) nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized by transforming a Si wafer surface to ammonium silicon hexafluoride (ASH) or (NH4)(2)SiF6 under acid vapor treatment. Si-NPs which were found to be embedded within the polycrystalline (ASH) layer exhibit a strong green-orange photoluminescence (PL). Differential PL measurements revealed a major double component spectrum consisting of a broad band associated with the ASH-Si wafer interfacial porous oxide layer and a high energy band attributable to Si-NPs embedded in the ASH. The origin of the latter emission can be explained in terms of quantum/spatial confinement effects probably mediated by oxygen related defects in or around Si-NPs. Although Si-NPs are derived from the interface they are much smaller in size than those embedded within the interfacial porous oxide layer (SiOx, x > 1.5). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) combined with Raman scattering and Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR) analysis confirmed the presence of Si-NP and Si-O bondings pointing to the role of oxygen related defects in a porous/amorphous structure. The presence of oxygen of up to 4.5 at.% in the (NH4)(2)SiF6 layer was confirmed by energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analysis.

quantum confinement


etching technique

porous silicon




si nanocrystals

luminescence properties

electronic states


S. Kalem


P. Werner

Max Planck Society

V. Talalaev

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

M. Becker

Max Planck Society

Örjan Arthursson

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Nanofabrication Laboratory

N. Zakharov

Max Planck Society


0957-4484 (ISSN) 1361-6528 (eISSN)

Vol. 21 43

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