Direct Conversion of Hydride- to Siloxane-Terminated Silicon Quantum Dots

Alan Sellinger, Ryan Anderson, Xiaoning Zang, Roshan Fernando, Michael Dzara, Chilan Ngo, Meredith Sharps, Rebecca Pinals, Svitlana Pylypenko, Mark Lusk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus Citations


Peripheral surface functionalization of hydride-terminated silicon quantum dots (SiQD) is necessary in order to minimize their oxidation/aggregation and allow for solution processability. Historically thermal hydrosilylation addition of alkenes and alkynes across the Si-H surface to form Si-C bonds has been the primary method to achieve this. Here we demonstrate a mild alternative approach to functionalize hydride-terminated SiQDs using bulky silanols in the presence of free-radical initiators to form stable siloxane (~Si-O-SiR3) surfaces with hydrogen gas as a byproduct. This offers an alternative to existing methods of forming siloxane surfaces that require corrosive Si-Cl based chemistry with HCl byproducts. A 52 nm blue shift in the photoluminescent spectra of siloxane versus alkyl-functionalized SiQDs is observed that we explain using computational theory. Model compound synthesis of silane and silsesquioxane analogues is used to optimize surface chemistry and elucidate reaction mechanisms. Thorough characterization on the extent of siloxane surface coverage is provided using FTIR and XPS. TEM is used to demonstrate SiQD size and integrity after surface chemistry and product isolation.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)25822-25831
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number45
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-67533


  • hydride-terminated silicon quantum dots
  • silanols
  • siloxane
  • SiQD


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