Light harvesting with Ge quantum dots embedded in SiO2 or Si3N4
Journal of Applied Physics
A I P Publishing LLC
043103-1 - 043103-7
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Germanium quantum dots (QDs) embedded in SiO2or in Si3N4have been studied for light harvesting purposes. SiGeO or SiGeN thin films, produced by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, have been annealed up to 850°C to induce Ge QD precipitation in Si based matrices. By varying the Ge content, the QD diameter can be tuned in the 3-9 nm range in the SiO2matrix, or in the 1-2 nm range in the Si3N4matrix, as measured by transmission electron microscopy. Thus, Si3N4matrix hosts Ge QDs at higher density and more closely spaced than SiO2matrix. Raman spectroscopy revealed a higher threshold for amorphous-to-crystalline transition for Ge QDs embedded in Si3N4matrix in comparison with those in the SiO2host. Light absorption by Ge QDs is shown to be more effective in Si3N4matrix, due to the optical bandgap (0.9-1.6 eV) being lower than in SiO2matrix (1.2-2.2 eV). Significant photoresponse with a large measured internal quantum efficiency has been observed for Ge QDs in Si3N4matrix when they are used as a sensitive layer in a photodetector device. These data will be presented and discussed, opening new routes for application of Ge QDs in light harvesting devices. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.