Photoluminescent characteristics of ion beam synthesized Ge nanoparticles in thermally grown SiO2 films

C. F. Yu, D. S. Chao, Y. F. Chen, J. H. Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Prospects of developing into numerous silicon-based optoelectronic applications have prompted many studies on the optical properties of Ge nanoparticles within a silicon oxide (SiO2) matrix. Even with such abundant studies, the fundamental mechanism underlying the Ge nanoparticle-induced photoluminescence (PL) is still an open question. In order to elucidate the mechanism, we dedicate this study to investigating the correlation between the PL properties and microstructure of the Ge nanoparticles synthesized in thermally grown SiO2 films. Our spectral data show that the peak position, at 3.1 eV or 400 nm, of the PL band arising from the Ge nanoparticles was essentially unchanged under different Ge implantation fluences and the temperatures of the following annealing process, whereas the sample preparation parameters modified or even fluctuated (in the case of the annealing temperature) the peak intensity considerably. Given the microscopically observed correlation between the nanoparticle structure and the sample preparation parameters, this phenomenon is consistent with the mechanism in which the oxygen-deficiency-related defects in the Ge/SiO2 interface act as the major luminescence centers; this mechanism also successfully explains the peak intensity fluctuation with the annealing temperature. Moreover, our FTIR data indicate the formation of GeOx upon ion implantation. Since decreasing of the oxygen-related defects by the GeOx formation is expected to be correlated with the annealing temperature, presence of the GeOx renders further experimental support to the oxygen defect mechanism. This understanding may assist the designing of the manufacturing process to optimize the Ge nanoparticle-based PL materials for different technological applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-176
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
StatePublished - 2013


  • Ge nanoparticles
  • Ion beam synthesis
  • Oxygen-deficiency-related defects
  • Photoluminescence (PL)
  • Quantum-confinement effects


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