The photon absorption in Si quantum dots (QDs) embedded in has been systematically investigated by varying several parameters of the QD synthesis. Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) or magnetron cosputtering (MS) have been used to deposit, upon quartz substrates, single layer, or multilayer structures of Si-rich- (SRO) with different Si content (43–46 at. %). SRO samples have been annealed for 1 h in the range and characterized by optical absorption measurements, photoluminescence analysis, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry and x-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. After annealing up to SRO films grown by MS show a higher absorption coefficient and a lower optical bandgap in comparison with that of PECVD samples, due to the lower density of Si–Si bonds and to the presence of nitrogen in PECVD materials. By increasing the Si content a reduction in the optical bandgap has been recorded, pointing out the role of Si–Si bonds density in the absorption process in small amorphous Si QDs. Both the photon absorption probability and energy threshold in amorphous Si QDs are higher than in bulk amorphous Si, evidencing a quantum confinement effect. For temperatures higher than both the materials show an increase in the optical bandgap due to the amorphous-crystalline transition of the Si QDs. Fixed the SRO stoichiometry, no difference in the optical bandgap trend of multilayer or single layer structures is evidenced. These data can be profitably used to better implement Si QDs for future PV technologies.
Light absorption in silicon quantum dots embedded in silica
S. Mirabella, R. Agosta, G. Franzò, I. Crupi, M. Miritello, R. Lo Savio, M. A. Di Stefano, S. Di Marco, F. Simone, A. Terrasi; Light absorption in silicon quantum dots embedded in silica. J. Appl. Phys. 15 November 2009; 106 (10): 103505. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3259430
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