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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(4), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8040182

Enhanced Electroluminescence from Silicon Quantum Dots Embedded in Silicon Nitride Thin Films Coupled with Gold Nanoparticles in Light Emitting Devices

1
Centro de Ciencias Aplicadas y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, A.P. 70-180, Ciudad de Mexico 04510, Mexico
2
Instituto de Física, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Circuito de la Investigación Científica s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, A.P. 20-364, Coyoacán, Ciudad de Mexico 04510, Mexico
3
Instituto de Investigaciones en Materiales, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, A.P. 70-360, Coyoacán, Ciudad de Mexico 04510, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 February 2018 / Revised: 17 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon-Based Nanomaterials: Technology and Applications)
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Abstract

Nowadays, the use of plasmonic metal layers to improve the photonic emission characteristics of several semiconductor quantum dots is a booming tool. In this work, we report the use of silicon quantum dots (SiQDs) embedded in a silicon nitride thin film coupled with an ultra-thin gold film (AuNPs) to fabricate light emitting devices. We used the remote plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique (RPECVD) in order to grow two types of silicon nitride thin films. One with an almost stoichiometric composition, acting as non-radiative spacer; the other one, with a silicon excess in its chemical composition, which causes the formation of silicon quantum dots imbibed in the silicon nitride thin film. The ultra-thin gold film was deposited by the direct current (DC)-sputtering technique, and an aluminum doped zinc oxide thin film (AZO) which was deposited by means of ultrasonic spray pyrolysis, plays the role of the ohmic metal-like electrode. We found that there is a maximum electroluminescence (EL) enhancement when the appropriate AuNPs-spacer-SiQDs configuration is used. This EL is achieved at a moderate turn-on voltage of 11 V, and the EL enhancement is around four times bigger than the photoluminescence (PL) enhancement of the same AuNPs-spacer-SiQDs configuration. From our experimental results, we surmise that EL enhancement may indeed be due to a plasmonic coupling. This kind of silicon-based LEDs has the potential for technology transfer. View Full-Text
Keywords: silicon quantum dots; localized surface plasmon resonances; light emitting devices; gold nanoparticles; electroluminescence enhancement silicon quantum dots; localized surface plasmon resonances; light emitting devices; gold nanoparticles; electroluminescence enhancement
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Muñoz-Rosas, A.L.; Rodríguez-Gómez, A.; Alonso-Huitrón, J.C. Enhanced Electroluminescence from Silicon Quantum Dots Embedded in Silicon Nitride Thin Films Coupled with Gold Nanoparticles in Light Emitting Devices. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 182.

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