Nano Archive

Classification and control of the origin of photoluminescence from Si nanocrystals

Godefroo, S and Hayne, M and Jivanescu, M and Stesmans, A and Zacharias, M and Lebedev, O. I. and Van Tendeloo, G and Moshchalkov, V. V. (2008) Classification and control of the origin of photoluminescence from Si nanocrystals. NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY, 3 (3). pp. 174-178.

Full text is not hosted in this archive but may be available via the Official URL, or by requesting a copy from the corresponding author.

Official URL:


Silicon dominates the electronics industry, but its poor optical properties mean that III-V compound semiconductors are preferred for photonics applications. Photoluminescence at visible wavelengths was observed from porous Si at room temperature in 1990, but the origin of these photons (do they arise from highly localized defect states or quantum confinement effects?) has been the subject of intense debate ever since. Attention has subsequently shifted from porous Si to Si nanocrystals, but the same fundamental question about the origin of the photoluminescence has remained. Here we show, based on measurements in high magnetic fields, that defects are the dominant source of light from Si nanocrystals. Moreover, we show that it is possible to control the origin of the photoluminescence in a single sample: passivation with hydrogen removes the defects, resulting in photoluminescence from quantum-confined states, but subsequent ultraviolet illumination reintroduces the defects, making them the origin of the light again.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Material Science > Functional and hybrid materials
Physical Science > Photonics
ID Code:1843
Deposited By:Farnush Anwar
Deposited On:15 Dec 2008 17:08
Last Modified:03 Mar 2009 13:07

Repository Staff Only: item control page