Environmental photostability of SF 6-etched silicon nanocrystals

R. W. Liptak, J. Yang, N. J. Kramer, U. Kortshagen, S. A. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We report on the long-term environmental stability of the photoluminescent (PL) properties of silicon nanocrystals (SiNCs). We prepared sulfur hexafluoride (SF 6) etched SiNCs in a two-stage plasma reactor and investigated their PL stability against UV irradiation in air. Unlike SiNCs with hydrogen-passivated surfaces, the SF 6-etched SiNCs exhibit no photobleaching upon extended UV irradiation despite surface oxidation. Furthermore, the PL quantum yield also remains stable upon heating the SF 6-etched SiNCs up to 160°C. The observed thermal and UV stability of SF 6-etched SiNCs combined with their PL quantum yields of up to 50% make them attractive candidates for UV downshifting to enhance the efficiency of solar cells. Electron paramagnetic spin resonance indicates that the SF 6-etched SiNCs have a lowered density of defect states, both as-formed and after room temperature oxidation in air.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number395205
Issue number39
StatePublished - Oct 5 2012


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