Electroluminescence and transport properties in amorphous silicon nanostructures

Isodiana Crupi, Calogero D. Presti, Angelo Piana, Andrea Canino, Pier Giorgio Fallica, Francesco Priolo, Pier Giorgio Fallica, Pier Giorgio Fallica, Alessia Irrera, Isodiana Crupi, Corrado Bongiorno, Delfo Sanfilippo, Fabio Iacona, Giorgia Franzò, Gianfranco Di Stefano

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69 Citations (Scopus)


We report the results of a detailed study on the structural, electrical and optical properties of light emitting devices based on amorphous Si nanostructures. Amorphous nanostructures may constitute an interesting system for the monolithic integration of optical and electrical functions in Si ULSI technology. In fact, they exhibit an intense room temperature electroluminescence (EL), with the advantage of being formed at a temperature of 900 °C, while at least 1100 °C is needed for the formation of Si nanocrystals. Optical and electrical properties of amorphous Si nanocluster devices have been studied in the temperature range between 30 and 300 K. The EL is seen to have a bell-shaped trend as a function of temperature with a maximum at around 60 K. The efficiency of these devices is comparable to that found in devices based on Si nanocrystals, although amorphous nanostructures exhibit peculiar working conditions (very high current densities and low applied voltages). Time resolved EL measurements demonstrate the presence of a short lifetime, only partially due to the occurrence of non-radiative phenomena, since the very small amorphous clusters formed at 900 °C are characterized by a short radiative lifetime. By forcing a current through the device a phenomenon of charge trapping in the Si nanostructures has been observed. Trapped charges affect luminescence through an Auger-type non-radiative recombination of excitons. Indeed, it is shown that unbalanced injection of carriers (electrons versus holes) is one of the main processes limiting luminescence efficiency. These data will be reported and the advantages and limitations of this approach will be discussed. © 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1428-1436
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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