Silicon Nanoparticle Films Infilled with Al2O3Using Atomic Layer Deposition for Photosensor, Light Emission, and Photovoltaic Applications

Alexandre M.P. Botas, Joaquim P. Leitão, Bruno P. Falcão, Markus Wiesinger, Felix Eckmann, Jennifer P. Teixeira, Hartmut Wiggers, Martin Stutzmann, Rute A.S. Ferreira, Rui N. Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Solution-processed thin films of crystalline silicon nanoparticles (Si NPs) have a great potential for a wide variety of electronic and optoelectronic applications. However, such films are inherently unstable due to their huge surface-to-volume ratios and high surface energies, making them prone to degradation associated with spontaneous oxidation in ambient conditions. In this work, we explore the use of atomic layer deposition (ALD) as a means to stabilize and potentially functionalize solution-processed thin films of Si NPs for (opto)electronics, e.g., thin-film transistors, photosensors, light-emitting devices, and photovoltaics. We prepared films of randomly distributed Si NPs with ultrashort surface ligands (Si-H termination) using wet chemistry and spray-coating and then use ALD to infill the films with Al2O3. Through microscopy and optical structural/morphological analysis, we demonstrate the achievability of ALD infilling of films of Si NPs and probe the stability of these films against oxidation. Moreover, we show that the ALD infilling leads to changes in the light emission properties of the Si NP films, including a relative quenching of disorder-related emission features and variations in surface-related dielectric confinement effects. Our studies reveal ALD as a relevant technique toward manufacturing de facto robust, functional nanomaterials based on Si NPs and on nanoscale silicon materials more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5033-5044
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Volume3
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • air stability
  • atomic layer deposition infilling
  • dielectric confinement
  • photoluminescence properties
  • silicon nanocrystal films

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