Silicon nanocrystals at elevated temperatures: Retention of photoluminescence and diamond silicon to β-silicon carbide phase transition

Clare E. Rowland, Daniel C. Hannah, Arnaud Demortière, Jihua Yang, Russell E. Cook, Vitali B. Prakapenka, Uwe Kortshagen, Richard D. Schaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the photoluminescence (PL) properties of colloidal Si nanocrystals (NCs) up to 800 K and observe PL retention on par with core/shell structures of other compositions. These alkane-terminated Si NCs even emit at temperatures well above previously reported melting points for oxide-embedded particles. Using selected area electron diffraction (SAED), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), liquid drop theory, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we show that melting does not play a role at the temperatures explored experimentally in PL, and we observe a phase change to β-SiC in the presence of an electron beam. Loss of diffraction peaks (melting) with recovery of diamond-phase silicon upon cooling is observed under inert atmosphere by XRD. We further show that surface passivation by covalently bound ligands endures the experimental temperatures. These findings point to covalently bound organic ligands as a route to the development of NCs for use in high temperature applications, including concentrated solar cells and electrical lighting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9219-9223
Number of pages5
JournalACS nano
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 23 2014

Keywords

  • high temperature
  • nanocrystals
  • phase transition
  • photoluminescence
  • silicon

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