Luminescent Colloidal Silicon Suspensions from Porous Silicon

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Science  03 Jan 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5040, pp. 66-68
DOI: 10.1126/science.255.5040.66


A procedure for generating colloidal suspensions of Si that exhibit luminescence, attributed to quantum confinement effects, is described. Samples of n- or p-type Si that have been electrochemically etched to form porous Si can be ultrasonically dispersed into methylene chloride, acetonitrile, methanol, toluene, or water solvents, forming a suspension of fine Si particles that luminesce. Transmission electron microscopy analyses show that the Si particles have irregular shapes, with diameters ranging from many micrometers to nanometers. Luminescent, composite polystyrene/Si films can be made by the addition of polystyrene to a toluene suspension of the Si nanoparticles and casting of the resulting solution onto a glass slide.