Excitonic photoluminescence characteristics of amorphous silicon nanoparticles embedded in silicon nitride film
College of Physics Science and Technology, Hebei University, Baoding, 071002, P.R. China
Corresponding author: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 18 April 2007
Published online: 25 May 2007
We have investigated the photoluminescence (PL) properties of amorphous silicon nanoparticles (a-Si NPs) embedded in silicon nitride film (Si-in-SiNx) grown by helicon wave plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (HWP-CVD) technique. The PL spectrum of the film exhibits a broad band constituted of two Gaussian components. From photoluminescence excitation (PLE) measurements, it is elucidated that the two PL bands are associated with the a-Si NPs and the silicon nitride matrix surrounding a-Si NPs, respectively. The existence of Stokes shift between PL and absorption edge indicates that radiative recombination of carriers occurs in the states at the surface of the Si NPs, whereas their generation takes place in the a-Si NPs cores and the silicon nitride matrix, respectively. The visible PL of the film originates from the radiative recombination of excitons trapped in the surface states. At decreasing excitation energy (Eex), the PL peak energy was found to be redshifted, accompanied by a narrowing of the bandwidth. These results are explained by surface exciton recombination model taking into account there existing a size distribution of a-Si NPs in the silicon nitride matrix.
PACS: 78.67.-n – Optical properties of low-dimensional, mesoscopic, and nanoscale materials and structures / 71.20.Nr – Semiconductor compounds / 78.55.-m – Photoluminescence, properties and materials
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2007