Synthesis of low-oxide blue luminescent alkyl-functionalized silicon nanoparticles with no nitrogen containing surfactant

  • Jason A. Thomas
  • Shane P. Ashby
  • Frederik Huld
  • Timothy J. Pennycook
  • Yimin Chao
Research Paper

Abstract

Of ever growing interest in the fields of physical chemistry and materials science, silicon nanoparticles show a great deal of potential. Methods for their synthesis are, however, often hazardous, expensive or otherwise impractical. In the literature, there is a safe, fast and cheap inverse micelle-based method for the production of alkyl-functionalized blue luminescent silicon nanoparticles, which nonetheless found limitations, due to undesirable Si-alkoxy and remaining Si–H functionalization. In the following work, these problems are addressed, whereby an optimisation of the reaction mechanism encourages more desirable capping, and the introduction of alcohol is replaced by the use of anhydrous copper (II) chloride. The resulting particles, when compared with their predecessors through a myriad of spectroscopic techniques, are shown to have greatly reduced levels of ‘undesirable’ capping, with a much lower surface oxide level; whilst also maintaining long-term air stability, strong photoluminescence and high yields.

Keywords

Silicon Nanoparticles Oxidation STEM XPS Inverse micelle 

Notes

Acknowledgments

SPA is grateful to an industry CASE studentship sponsored by EPSRC and European Thermodynamics Ltd. X-ray photoelectron spectra were obtained at the National EPSRC XPS User’s Service (NEXUS) at Newcastle University, an EPSRC Mid-Range Facility. Aberration-corrected STEM measurements were performed at the EPSRC UK National Facility for Aberration-Corrected STEM managed by the SuperSTEM consortium.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason A. Thomas
    • 1
  • Shane P. Ashby
    • 1
  • Frederik Huld
    • 1
  • Timothy J. Pennycook
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yimin Chao
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ChemistryUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  2. 2.SuperSTEM Laboratory, STFC Daresbury CampusWarringtonUK
  3. 3.Department of MaterialsUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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