Silanization of Plasma-Grown Silicon Quantum Dots for Production of a Tunable, Stable, Colloidal Solution

Ingrid E. Anderson, Rebecca A. Shircliff, Benjamin G. Lee, Brian Simonds, Sumit Agarwal, Pauls Stradins, Reuben T. Collins

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Nanomaterials have the potential to revolutionize photovoltaics with the promise of new physics, novel architectures and low cost synthesis. Silicon quantum dots, relative to their II-VI counterparts, are understudied due to the difficulty of solution synthesis and chemical passivation. However, silicon is still an attractive solar cell material, providing an optimal band gap, low toxicity, and a very solid body of physical understanding of bulk silicon to draw from. We have synthesized silicon quantum dots with plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, and have developed a method for chemical passivation of these silicon quantum dots that can be used on particles created in a variety of ways. This versatile method utilizes oxidation via wet chemical etch and subsequent siloxane bond formation. The attachment of a silane to the SiOx shell leads to stability of the silicon core for over a month in air, and individual particles can be seen with TEM; thus a stable, colloidal suspension is formed. The future for this technique, including increasing quantum yield of the particles by changing the nature of the oxide, will be discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2011
EventNanophotonic Materials VIII - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 24 Aug 201125 Aug 2011


ConferenceNanophotonic Materials VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5200-53548


  • Silane chemistry
  • Silicon quantum dots


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