Chemical Modification of the Photoluminescence Quenching of Porous Silicon

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Science  17 Sep 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5128, pp. 1567-1568
DOI: 10.1126/science.261.5128.1567


The photoluminescence of porous silicon can be quenched by adsorbates, and the degree of quenching can be tuned by chemical derivatization of the porous silicon surface. Thus, as-prepared porous silicon has a hydrophobic, hydrogen-terminated surface, and the photoluminescence is strongly quenched by ethanol and weakly quenched by water. Mild chemical oxidation (iodine followed by hydrolysis) produces a hydrophilic porous silicon surface. Photoluminescence from this hydrophilic material is quenched to a lesser extent by ethanol and to a greater extent by water, relative to the original surface. This demonstrates that the visible luminescence from porous silicon is highly surface-sensitive, and the surface interactions can be tuned by specific chemical transformations.