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Visible Luminescence from Silicon: Quantum Confinement or Siloxene?

  • M. S. Brandt (a1), H. D. Fuchs (a1), A. Höpner (a1), M. Rosenbauer (a1), M. Stutzmann (a1), J. Weber (a1), M. Cardona (a1) and H. J. Queisser (a1)...

Abstract

The discovery of strong visible photoluminescence at room temperature from porous silicon has triggered new hope that light-emitting devices compatible with existing Si-technology might become possible. We first review the luminescence behavior observed in silicon-based materials such as amorphous Si, microcrystalline Si, or SiO2. We then critically discuss the present model for the luminescence from porous silicon based on quantum confinement in view of the growing experimental evidence for the importance of both hydrogen and oxygen to obtain efficient luminescence from this material. We propose an alternative explanation based on the presence of siloxene (SieO3H6) in porous silicon which is corroborated by experimental results obtained with photoluminescence, Raman and IR spectroscopy. An important aspect is that siloxene can be prepared by methods different from anodic oxidation, and one particular technique will be described together with possible ways to tune the luminescence energy.

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