Langmuir, Vol.22, No.9, 4363-4370, 2006
Organically capped silicon nanoparticles with blue photoluminescence prepared by hydrosilylation followed by oxidation
A facile method of preparing stable blue-emitting silicon nanoparticles that are dispersible in common organic solvents is presented. Oxidation of yellow-emitting silicon nanoparticles with an organic monolayer grafted to their surface, using either UV irradiation in solution or heating in air, converted them to blue-emitting particles. The evolution of the PL spectrum and infrared absorption spectrum of the particles was followed during the oxidation process. The PL spectrum showed a decrease in the PL emission peak near 600 nm and the appearance and increase in intensity of a PL emission peak near 460 Inn rather than a smooth blue shift of the emission spectrum from yellow to blue. The organic monolayer grafted to the particle surface was not degraded by this oxidation process, as demonstrated by FTIR and NMR spectroscopy. Similar results were achieved for particles with styrene, 1-octene, 1-dodecene, and I-octadecene grafted to their surface, demonstrating that it is the silicon nanocrystal, and not the organic component, that is essential to this process. The organic monolayer allows the nanoparticles to form stable, clear colloidal dispersions in organic solvents and provides for the possibility of further chemical functionalization of the particles. Combined with previous work on organically grafted silicon nanoparticles with green through near-infrared emission, this enables the efficient and scalable preparation of stable colloidal dispersions of organically grafted silicon nanoparticles with emission spanning the entire visible spectrum.