Optical characterisation of silicon nanocrystals embedded in SiO2/Si3N4 hybrid matrix for third generation photovoltaics
ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:612 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-612Published: 3 December 2011
Silicon nanocrystals with an average size of approximately 4 nm dispersed in SiO2/Si3N4 hybrid matrix have been synthesised by magnetron sputtering followed by a high-temperature anneal. To gain understanding of the photon absorption and emission mechanisms of this material, several samples are characterised optically via spectroscopy and photoluminescence measurements. The values of optical band gap are extracted from interference-minimised absorption and luminescence spectra. Measurement results suggest that these nanocrystals exhibit transitions of both direct and indirect types. Possible mechanisms of absorption and emission as well as an estimation of exciton binding energy are also discussed.