Porous nC-Si/SiOx nanostructured layer on Si substrate with tunable photoluminescent properties fabricated by direct, precursor-free microplasma irradiation in air
Abstract Porous nC-Si/SiO x photoluminescent nanostructured layer is fabricated by direct, precursor-free microplasma irradiation on Si substrate in air. It is confirmed that the deposited layer has porous and cluster-like structures by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and profile scanning. Fourier transform infrared transmission (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectrum (XPS) results indicate the produced layer is actually composed of nanocrystalline silicon (nC-Si) embedded in SiO x matrix. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Raman results show the mean particle size of nC-Si is mainly between 2 and 4nm and the highest crystalline volume fraction reaches 86.9%. The photoluminescence (PL) measurement of nC-Si/SiO x layer exhibited a broad band centered at 1.7–1.9eV, ranging from 1.2–2.4eV, and could be tuned by varying the applied voltage. The synthetical mechanisms are discussed to explain the PL properties of the layers. We propose that the energetic ions bombing induced by high compressed electric field near the Si surface is the main reason for porous nC-Si/SiO x formation. Maskless deposition of the line pattern of nC-Si/SiO x layer was also successfully fabricated. This simple, maskless, vacuum-free and precursor-free technique could be used in various potential optoelectronics and biological applications in the future. Highlights Porous nC-Si/SiO x nanostructured layer is fabricated by microplasma irradiation. The fabricated layer is composed of nC-silicon embedded in SiO x matrix. The mean particle size of nC-Si is between 2–4nm. The fabricated layers exhibited a broad PL band centered at 1.7–1.9eV. The photoluminescent properties could be tuned by varying the applied voltage. Graphical abstract Porous nC-Si/SiO x nanostructured layers with tunable photoluminescent properties are fabricated by direct microplasma irradiation on Si substrate in air. [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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