Experimental and theoretical study of ultraviolet-induced structural/optical instability in nano silicon-based luminescence

James Malloy, Kevin Mantey, Yulia Maximenko, Ersin Bahceci, Huw Morgan, Zain Yamani, Jack Boparai, Krithik Puthalath, Munir H Nayfeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nano silicon is emerging as an active element for UV applications due to quantum confinement-induced widening of the Si bandgap, amenability to integration on Si, and less sensitivity to temperature. NanoSi-based UV applications include deep space exploration, high temperature propulsion, solar photovoltaics, and particle detection in high energy accelerators. However, the viability of the technology is limited by a complex nanoSi optical quenching instability. Here, we examined the time dynamics of UV-induced luminescence of sub 3-nm nanoSi. The results show that luminescence initially quenches, but it develops a stability at ∼50% level with a time characteristic of minutes. Upon isolation, partial luminescence recovery/reversibility occurs with a time characteristics of hours. To discern the origin of the instability, we perform first principles atomistic calculations of the molecular/electronic structure in 1-nm Si particles as a function of Si structural bond expansion, using time dependent density functional theory, with structural relaxation applied in both ground and excited states. For certain bond expansion/relaxation, the results show that the low-lying triplet state dips below the singlet ground state, providing a plausible long-lasting optical trap that may account for luminescence quenching as well as bond cleavage and irreversibility. Time dynamics of device-operation that accommodates the quenching/recovery time dynamics is suggested as a means to alleviate the instability and allow control of recovery, which promises to make it an effective alternative to UV-enhanced Si or metal-based wide-bandgap sensing technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044501
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume124
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 28 2018

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luminescence
silicon
recovery
quenching
solar propulsion
deep space
expansion
ground state
space exploration
molecular electronics
viability
atomic energy levels
cleavage
emerging
isolation
accelerators
traps
density functional theory
electronic structure
sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Experimental and theoretical study of ultraviolet-induced structural/optical instability in nano silicon-based luminescence. / Malloy, James; Mantey, Kevin; Maximenko, Yulia; Bahceci, Ersin; Morgan, Huw; Yamani, Zain; Boparai, Jack; Puthalath, Krithik; Nayfeh, Munir H.

In: Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 124, No. 4, 044501, 28.07.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Malloy, J, Mantey, K, Maximenko, Y, Bahceci, E, Morgan, H, Yamani, Z, Boparai, J, Puthalath, K & Nayfeh, MH 2018, 'Experimental and theoretical study of ultraviolet-induced structural/optical instability in nano silicon-based luminescence', Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 124, no. 4, 044501. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5027307
Malloy, James ; Mantey, Kevin ; Maximenko, Yulia ; Bahceci, Ersin ; Morgan, Huw ; Yamani, Zain ; Boparai, Jack ; Puthalath, Krithik ; Nayfeh, Munir H. / Experimental and theoretical study of ultraviolet-induced structural/optical instability in nano silicon-based luminescence. In: Journal of Applied Physics. 2018 ; Vol. 124, No. 4.
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