• silicon based light emitter;
  • MIS structure;
  • HfO2;
  • luminescence


We report on electro-luminescence from metal-insulator-semiconductor diodes (MISLED). MISLEDs prepared on silicon with HfO2 layers of different thicknesses were investigated and their properties compared with such prepared by using SiO2 insulator layer. The role of the insulator layer was studied in view of the efficiency of the band-to-band radiation from silicon. We show that the luminescence efficiency depends on the dielectric constant of the insulator as well as on its ability to conduct carriers by tunnelling. Efficiency enhancement of 3.3 times was detected when the SiO2 insulator was substituted by HfO2 in the MIS emitter. Optimal injection current exists, which leads to a maximal efficiency of the luminescence. The optimal current depends strongly on the thickness of the oxide. We relate the existence of an optimal current with the depth at which the injected minority carriers recombine radiatively. Thus the electric field in the semiconductor and the surface recombination are the factors determining the optimal injection (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)