Date: 07 Sep 2005

Si/SiO2 core shell clusters probed by Raman spectroscopy

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Using a pulsed microplasma source, clusters were produced through the ablation of a Si cathode and successive supersonic expansion. The Si cluster beam was deposited onto different substrates and the partial oxidation of the cluster surface avoided the growth of large agglomerates, preserving their nanocrystalline morphology. Micro-Raman spectroscopy was used for an accurate size diagnosis of the deposited nanoparticles. The size of the Si dots ranges between 2 and about 15 nm. The Si dots appear to have a Si oxide shell, as confirmed also by structural and compositional analysis through transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Double Raman peaks were attributed to small Si agglomerates having a thin substoichiometric Si-O interface.