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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2012 Feb;12(2):1444-7.

Investigation of bonding characteristics between Si quantum dots and a SiO2 matrix.

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School of Materials Science and Engineering, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea.


In order to understand and control the properties of Si quantum dot (QD) superlattice structures (SLS), it is necessary to investigate the bonding between the dots and their matrix and also the structures' crystallinities. In this study, a SiOx matrix system was investigated and analyzed for potential use as an all-silicon multi-junction solar cell. Si QD SLS were prepared by alternating deposition of Si rich SiOx (x = 0.8) and SiO2 layers using RF magnetron co-sputtering and subsequent annealing at temperatures between 800 and 1,100 degrees C under nitrogen ambient. Annealing temperatures and times affected the formation of Si QDs in the SRO film. Raman and FTIR spectra revealed that nanocrystalline Si QDs started to precipitate after annealing at 1,100 degrees C for 1 hour. TEM images clearly showed SRO/SiO2 SLS and Si QDs formation in SRO layers after annealing at 1,100 degrees C for 2 hours. XPS analysis showed that Si-Si and Si-O bonding changes occurred above 1,100 degrees C. XPS analysis also revealed that Si QD SLSs started stabilizing after 2 hours' annealing and approached completion after 3 hours'. The systematic investigation of Si QDs in SiO2 matrices and their properties for solar cell application are presented.


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