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Modeling Carrier Transport in Oxide-Passivated Nanocrystalline Silicon Leds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 March 2011

Karl D. Hirschman
Department of Microelectronic Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623
Philippe M. Fauchet
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627
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This report presents an investigation on carrier transport in LED structures based on oxide passivated nanocrystalline silicon (OPNSi), formed by oxidation of porous silicon. This material, like its precursor, can luminesce quite efficiently while demonstrating several advantages in stability (i.e. chemical, thermal, electrical and electroluminescence). OPNSi can be best described as a porous glass structure with defects that facilitate transport, and remaining embedded nanocrystals of silicon that support light emission. Although this study does not provide a direct measurement of the density of states in OPNSi, the following transport study suggests a high density of states having a broad energy distribution that readily exchange charge with the silicon electrodes. Experimental data also suggests the existence of deeper trap centers that do not facilitate transport, yet influence transport behavior significantly. The device operation is explained by bipolar injection from an electron-injection cathode and a hole-injection anode into the semi-insulating OPNSi layer. The device is modeled as a “field effect diode”, where untraditional concepts are applied in the interpretation of experimental observations. Extensive electrical characterization of OPNSi LEDs has lead to the development of a comprehensive transport model that is self-consistent with all experimental observations.

Research Article
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2001

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