Ultrahigh throughput plasma processing of free standing silicon nanocrystals with lognormal size distribution

I. Dogan, N.J. Kramer, R.H.J. Westermann, K. Dohnalova, A.H.M. Smets, M.A. Verheijen, T. Gregorkiewicz, M.C.M. Sanden, van de

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We demonstrate a method for synthesizing free standing silicon nanocrystals in an argon/silane gas mixture by using a remote expanding thermal plasma. Transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy measurements reveal that the distribution has a bimodal shape consisting of two distinct groups of small and large silicon nanocrystals with sizes in the range 2–10¿nm and 50–120¿nm, respectively. We also observe that both size distributions are lognormal which is linked with the growth time and transport of nanocrystals in the plasma. Average size control is achieved by tuning the silane flow injected into the vessel. Analyses on morphological features show that nanocrystals are monocrystalline and spherically shaped. These results imply that formation of silicon nanocrystals is based on nucleation, i.e., these large nanocrystals are not the result of coalescence of small nanocrystals. Photoluminescence measurements show that silicon nanocrystals exhibit a broad emission in the visible region peaked at 725¿nm. Nanocrystals are produced with ultrahigh throughput of about 100¿mg/min and have state of the art properties, such as controlled size distribution, easy handling, and room temperature visible photoluminescence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number134306
Pages (from-to)134306-1/10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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