Special Issue "Silicon Nanocrystals: From Fundamentals to Applications"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Synthesis, Interfaces and Nanostructures".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Vladimir Svrcek
Guest Editor
Department of Energy and Environment, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan
Interests: next generation of solar cells; carrier multiplication; hot carriers; quantum dots; nanostructured perovskites; multijunction solar cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research in silicon nanocrystals (Si NCs) has over thirty years of history; nevertheless, it still attracts significant attention today. Initially, a great effort was devoted to extending the use of silicon in optoelectronics for the realization of Si-based light-emitting devices, especially lasers. Following many years of studies, an understanding of the fundamentals of Si NC science and the tuning of light emission from Si NCs by engineering their size, surface, alloying, and doping was achieved. This opened up a new door for the development of Si-based optoelectronic devices such as all-inorganic silicon white-light LEDs, photodetectors to take advantage of strong light absorption in the ultraviolet region, and devices elaborately incorporated into solar cells.  However, many challenges still remain, such as the precise control of the optical properties of Si NCs by tuning of the quantum confinement, surface, and doping effects, and their integration within devices. Therefore, unceasing efforts are being devoted to advancing the research field of Si NCs. The continuous Si NC research and new device design development is assured to significantly improve existing products and to enable devices with novel functionalities. This Special Issue on “Silicon Nanocrystals: From Fundamentals to Applications” aims to cover a broad range of subjects, from Si NC synthesis, to surface engineering, and to the design and characterization of devices. In particular, we invite authors to contribute original research articles, letters, as well as comprehensive review articles covering the most recent progress and perspective views on fundamental issues and properties of Si NCs as well as the potential and challenges in the incorporation of Si NCs into various efficient optoelectronic devices, such as light-emitting diodes, sensors, photodetectors, solar cells, etc.

Dr. Vladimir Svrcek
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Synthesis and characterizations of Si NCs
  • Fundamental physics and chemistry of Si NCs
  • Surface engineering of Si NCs
  • Alloying of Si NCs
  • Solar cells
  • Optoelectronic devices
  • Light-emitting diodes
  • Photonics
  • Energy conversion
  • Transport phenomena

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Nano-Bio Interaction between Blood Plasma Proteins and Water-Soluble Silicon Quantum Dots with Enabled Cellular Uptake and Minimal Cytotoxicity
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(11), 2250; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10112250 - 13 Nov 2020
A better understanding of the compatibility of water-soluble semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) upon contact with the bloodstream is important for biological applications, including biomarkers working in the first therapeutic spectral window for deep tissue imaging. Herein, we investigated the conformational changes of blood [...] Read more.
A better understanding of the compatibility of water-soluble semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) upon contact with the bloodstream is important for biological applications, including biomarkers working in the first therapeutic spectral window for deep tissue imaging. Herein, we investigated the conformational changes of blood plasma proteins during the interaction with near-infrared light-emitting nanoparticles, consisting of Pluronic F127 shells and cores comprised of assembled silicon QDs terminated with decane monolayers. Albumin and transferrin have high quenching constants and form a hard protein corona on the nanoparticle. In contrast, fibrinogen has low quenching constants and forms a soft protein corona. A circular dichroism (CD) spectrometric study investigates changes in the protein’s secondary and tertiary structures with incremental changes in the nanoparticle concentrations. As expected, the addition of nanoparticles causes the denaturation of the plasma proteins. However, it is noteworthy that the conformational recovery phenomena are observed for fibrinogen and transferrin, suggesting that the nanoparticle does not influence the ordered structure of proteins in the bloodstream. In addition, we observed enabled cellular uptake (NIH3T3 Fibroblasts) and minimal cytotoxicity using different cell lines (HeLa, A549, and NIH3T3). This study offers a basis to design QDs without altering the biomacromolecule’s original conformation with enabled cellular uptake with minimal cytotoxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Nanocrystals: From Fundamentals to Applications)
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