Electro-optical evidence for the chelate effect at semiconductor surfaces

George C. Lisensky, Rona L. Penn, Catherine J. Murphy, Arthur B. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Monoamines and diamines dissolved in cyclohexane solution reversibly enhance the band-edge photoluminescence (PL) intensity of immersed n-type cadmium sulfide (n-CdS) and n-type cadmium selenide (n-CdSe) substrates through adsorption. The magnitude of the PL increase is used to estimate amine-induced contractions in the semiconductor's depletion width, and the dependence of the PL intensity on amine concentration provides an estimate of the adduct formation constant. Two diamines, ethylenediamine and o-phenylenediamine, exhibit unusually low reductions in depletion width and substantially larger adduct equilibrium constants relative to the other amines studied, consistent with chelation to surface Cd2+ ions. These studies demonstrate that PL can be used as a contactless, in situ technique for characterizing the steric and electronic landscape of semiconductor surfaces and for correlating molecular and surface chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)840-843
Number of pages4
Issue number4957
StatePublished - 1990


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