In Situ Gas-Phase Hydrosilylation of Plasma-Synthesized Silicon Nanocrystals

Bhavin N. Jariwala, Oliver S. Dewey, Paul Stradins, Cristian V. Ciobanu, Sumit Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus Citations


Surface passivation of semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) is critical in enabling their utilization in novel optoelectronic devices, solar cells, and biological and chemical sensors. Compared to the extensively used liquid-phase NC synthesis and passivation techniques, gas-phase routes provide the unique opportunity for in situ passivation of semiconductor NCs. Herein, we present a method for in situ gas-phase organic functionalization of plasma-synthesized, H-terminated silicon (Si) NCs. Using real-time in situ attenuated total reflection Fourier transform IR spectroscopy, we have studied the surface reactions during hydrosilylation of Si NCs at 160 °C. First, we show that, during gas-phase hydrosilylation of Si NCs using styrene (1-alkene) and acetylene (alkyne), the reaction pathways of the alkenes and alkynes chemisorbing onto surface SiH x (x = 1-3) species are different. Second, utilizing this difference in reactivity, we demonstrate a novel pathway to enhance the surface ligand passivation of Si NCs via in situ gas-phase hydrosilylation using the combination of a short-chain alkyne (acetylene) and a long-chain 1-alkene (styrene). The quality of surface passivation is further validated through IR and photoluminescence measurements of Si NCs exposed to air.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3033-3041
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5200-52391


  • hydrosilylation
  • silicon nanocrystals
  • surface functionalization


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