Quantum Confinement in Size-Selected, Surface-Oxidized Silicon Nanocrystals

Science  19 Nov 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5137, pp. 1242-1244
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5137.1242


The dynamics and spectroscopy of silicon nanocrystals that emit at visible wavelengths were analyzed. Size-selective precipitation and size-exclusion chromatography cleanly separate the silicon nanocrystals from larger crystallites and aggregates and provide direct evidence for quantum confinement in luminescence. Measured quantum yields are as high as 50 percent at low temperature, principally as a result of efficient oxide passivation. Despite a 0.9—electron-volt shift of the band gap to higher energy, the nanocrystals behave fundamentally as indirect gap materials with low oscillator strength.