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Nonthermal plasma synthesis has emerged as a viable alternative to nanocrystal synthesis in the liquid phase or by other gas phase based methods. The nonequilibrium environment containing free charge carriers enables the synthesis of nanocrystals with excellent crystallinity and narrow size distributions. This paper reviews the fundamental mechanisms involved in the synthesis of nanocrystals with nonthermal plasmas. It discusses the luminescent properties of plasma-produced silicon nanocrystals and their application in devices such as light emitting diodes. The ability of plasma synthesis to generate doped nanocrystals is a particularly appealing attribute. We present boron and phosphorous doped silicon nanocrystals and review their applications as near infrared plasmonic materials. Finally, the author presents his view of some important research needs in the area of nonthermal plasma synthesis of nanocrystals.
- Electronic materials
- Nonthermal plasma
- Thin films
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