With a view to creating Si LEDs, the structural and luminescent properties of SiO x N y films containing Si nanocrystals in the SiO x N y matrix are studied experimentally. It is found that the film structure (nanocrystal size and concentration, the presence of an amorphous phase, etc.) and the spectrum and intensity of photoluminescence (PL) and electroluminescence (EL) are strongly dependent on the Si stoichiometric excess δ and annealing conditions. At δ≈ 10%, unannealed films are amorphous and contain Si clusters of size < 2 nm, as deduced from the TEM and microdiffraction data obtained. Annealing at 800–1000°C for 10–60 min produces Si crystals 3–5 nm in size with a concentration of ≈1018 cm−3. The annealed films exhibit room-temperature PL and EL over the wavelength range 400–850 nm with intensity peaks located at 50–60 and 60–70 nm, respectively. The PL and EL spectra are found to be qualitatively similar. This suggests that both the PL and the EL should be associated with the formation of luminescent centers at nanocrystal–matrix interfaces and in boundary regions. However, the two phenomena should differ in the mechanism by which the centers are excited. With the EL, excitation should occur by impact processes due to carrier heating in high electric fields. It is found that as δ increases, so does the proportion of large amorphous Si clusters with a high density of dangling bonds. This enhances nonradiative recombination and suppresses luminescence.
Russian Microelectronics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 27, 2005
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