Oxide and hydrogen capped ultrasmall blue luminescent Si nanoparticles

Gennadiy Belomoin, Joel Therrien, Munir Nayfeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We dispersed electrochemical etched silicon into a colloid of ultrasmall ultrabright Si nanoparticles. Direct imaging using transmission electron microscopy shows particles of ∼1 nm in diameter, and infrared and electron photospectroscopy show that they are passivated with hydrogen. Under 350 nm excitation, the luminescence is dominated by an extremely strong blue band at 390 nm. We replace hydrogen by a high-quality ultrathin surface oxide cap by self-limiting oxidation in H2O2. Upon capping, the excitation efficiency drops, but only by a factor of 2, to an efficiency still two-fold larger than that of fluorescein. Although of slightly lower brightness, capped Si particles have superior biocompatability, an important property for biosensing applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)779-781
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 7 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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