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Published November 2010 | public
Journal Article

Tunable Visible and Near-IR Emission from Sub-10 nm Etched Single-Crystal Si Nanopillars


Visible and near-IR photoluminescence (PL) is reported from sub-10 nm silicon nanopillars. Pillars were plasma etched from single crystal Si wafers and thinned by utilizing strain-induced, self-terminating oxidation of cylindrical structures. PL, lifetime, and transmission electron microscopy were performed to measure the dimensions and emission characteristics of the pillars. The peak PL energy was found to blue shift with narrowing pillar diameter in accordance with a quantum confinement effect. The blue shift was quantified using a tight binding method simulation that incorporated the strain induced by the thermal oxidation process. These pillars show promise as possible complementary metal oxide semiconductor compatible silicon devices in the form of light-emitting diode or laser structures.

Additional Information

© 2010 American Chemical Society. Received for review: 06/17/2010. Published on Web: 10/04/2010. S.W. would like to thank Imogen Pryce for her work on an early iteration of this project as well as Professor Tom Tombrello and Ryan Briggs for useful discussion. We would also like to gratefully acknowledge the Boeing Corporation under the CT-BA-GTA-1 grant and DARPA for generous support under the EPIC (HR0011-04-1- 0054) and NACHOS (W911NF-07-1-0277) program. A.H. would like to thank the ARCS program for their support. M.D.H. would like to thank the John and Franny Hertz Foundation for their continued funding.

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