The future exploitation of the exceptional properties of freestanding silicon nanocrystals (Si NCs) in marketable applications relies upon our ability to produce large amounts of defect-free Si NCs by means of a low-cost method. Here, we demonstrate that Si NCs fabricated by scalable rf plasma-assisted decomposition of silane with additional hydrogen gas injected into the afterglow region of the plasma exhibit immediately after synthesis the lowest reported defect density, corresponding to a value of only about 0.002-0.005 defects per NC for Si NCs of 4 nm size. In addition, the virtually perfect hydrogen termination of these Si NCs yields an enhanced resistance against natural oxidation in comparison to Si NCs with nearly one order of magnitude larger initial defect density.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Aug 27 2012|