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Microscopic Origin of the Fast Blue-Green Luminescence of Chemically Synthesized Non-oxidized Silicon Quantum Dots

Authors

  • Kateřina Dohnalová,

    Corresponding author
    1. Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, Amsterdam, NL-1098 XH, The Netherlands
    • Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, Amsterdam, NL-1098 XH, The Netherlands.
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  • Anna Fučíková,

    1. Department of Chemical Physics and Optics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Ke Karlovu 3, Prague 2, CZ-12116, Czech Republic
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  • Chinnaswamy P. Umesh,

    1. Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 8, Wageningen, NL - 6703 HB, The Netherlands
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  • Jana Humpolíčková,

    1. J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic, v. v. i., Dolejčkova 2155/3, Prague 8, CZ-182 23, Czech Republic
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  • Jos M. J. Paulusse,

    1. Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 8, Wageningen, NL - 6703 HB, The Netherlands
    Current affiliation:
    1. MIRA Institute, Department of Biomedical Chemistry, University of Twente, Building Zuidhorst, Room ZH 116, Enschede, NL-7500 AE, The Netherlands
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  • Jan Valenta,

    1. Department of Chemical Physics and Optics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Ke Karlovu 3, Prague 2, CZ-12116, Czech Republic
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  • Han Zuilhof,

    1. Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 8, Wageningen, NL - 6703 HB, The Netherlands
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  • Martin Hof,

    1. J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic, v. v. i., Dolejčkova 2155/3, Prague 8, CZ-182 23, Czech Republic
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  • Tom Gregorkiewicz

    1. Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, Amsterdam, NL-1098 XH, The Netherlands
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Abstract

The microscopic origin of the bright nanosecond blue-green photoluminescence (PL), frequently reported for synthesized organically terminated Si quantum dots (Si-QDs), has not been fully resolved, hampering potential applications of this interesting material. Here a comprehensive study of the PL from alkyl-terminated Si-QDs of 2–3 nm size, prepared by wet chemical synthesis is reported. Results obtained on the ensemble and those from the single nano-object level are compared, and they provide conclusive evidence that efficient and tunable emission arises due to radiative recombination of electron–hole pairs confined in the Si-QDs. This understanding paves the way towards applications of chemical synthesis for the development of Si-QDs with tunable sizes and bandgaps.

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