, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 437-442

Optical properties of silicon nanoparticles synthesized via electrical spark discharge in water

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Abstract

In this paper, we report a simple and low-cost technique for fabrication of silicon nanoparticles via electrical spark discharge between two plane silicon electrodes immersed in deionized water (DI). The pulsed spark discharge with the peak current of 60 A and a duration of a single discharge pulse of 60 μs was used in our experiment. The structure, morphology, and average size of the resulting nanoparticles were characterized by means of X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM images illustrated nearly spherical and isolated Si nanoparticles with diameters in the 3–8 nm range. The Raman peaks of the samples were shifted to the lower wave numbers in comparison to this of bulk crystalline silicon indicating the existence of tiny particles. The optical absorption spectrum of the nanoparticles was measured in the violet–visible (UV–Vis) spectral region. By measuring of the band gap we could estimate the average size of the prepared particles. The silicon nanoparticles synthesized exhibited a photoluminescence (PL) band in the violet-blue region with a double peak at around 417 and 439 nm. It can be attributed to oxide-related defects on the surface of silicon nanoparticles, which can act as the radiative centers for the electron-hole pair recombination.