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Publication Detail
Measurement of photocarrier lifetimes in silicon nanoclusters
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Kenyon AJ, Botti S, Trwoga PF, Pitt CW
  • Publisher:
    Electrochemical Society
  • Publication date:
  • Place of publication:
    Pennington, US
  • Pagination:
    17, 26
  • Published proceedings:
    Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium On Quantum Confinement: Nanostructures
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Series:
    Electrochemical Society Series
  • Editors:
    Cahay M,Lockwood DJ,Leburton JP,Bandyopadhyay S
  • ISBN-10:
  • Status:
  • Language:
Carrier lifetimes in silicon nanoclusters have been determined using measurements of photogenerated free-carrier absorption. Two classes of samples were studied: silicon nanoclusters deposited using laser pyrolysis of silane, and silicon nanoclusters in a silica matrix prepared by plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition. Photocarriers were generated using modulated 514nm light from an argon-ion laser and the induced transient absorption probed using an 840nm probe laser. All samples showed visible and near-ir photoluminescence and a band edge absorption in the visible typical of silicon nanoclusters. The silicon nanopowders may find useful application in the field of nanophosphors while the silicon-rich silica samples are of interest from the point of view of producing all-silicon optoelectronics. Our results consistently show very long carrier lifetimes in silicon nanoclusters. Lifetimes are of the order of several milliseconds, in contrast to the tens to hundreds of microseconds typical of bulk silicon. We attribute this increase to a combination of defect and impurity-free clusters with a fully oxidised or hydrogenated surface. The absence of non-radiative recombination centres in such a system leads to slow thermally-assisted recombination of carriers, and hence long lifetimes.
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