The demonstration of photoluminescence (PL) and electroluminescence (EL) in nanostructures of Si or Ge, such as those found in porous silicon, has significantly improved the prospects of all Si based photonic devices. While the physical mechanisms at work are still a subject of much study, it is clear that the luminescence is associated with the formation of nanometer or “quantum” sized particles. Further, it is clear that prototype NanoCrystal Displays (NCDs) and communication devices are being fabricated in these material systems. We report here on the electroluminescent properties of nanometer sized particles in an SiO2 host matrix, which were fabricated by LPCVD techniques. The films have demonstrated reproducible emission from well below 400 nm to well above 800 nm. We believe that dispersion effects of the nanocrystals can account for “white” light emission. The films have been characterized using PL, Raman, XRD, TEM, and SIMS. The nanocrystals are primarily in the 2-7 nm range although larger crystal clusters are also observed. The development of stable and efficient Si or Ge nanocrystalline EL based devices could find applications in lamps/LEDs, photonic integrated circuits, and displays.
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Tompa, G.S., Morton, D.C., Sywe, B.S. et al. UV-Visible-IR Electroluminescence from Si and Ge Nanocrystals in a Wider Bandgap Matrix. MRS Online Proceedings Library 358, 701 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-358-701