Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Simpson, Peter J.

2nd Supervisor

Goncharova, Lyudmila V.

Joint Supervisor


The fundamental properties of matter in confined particles change dramatically due to quantum effects. In this work, we have explored the optical properties of silicon quantum dots (Si-QDs) embedded in Si3N4; and the role of crystallinity on the optical properties and formation of Si-QDs in Al2O3. This work examined the role of (1) annealing temperature and the composition of the film, (2) Al doping of the host Si3N4 film, (3) doping Si-QDs and (4) Al and P passivation of Si-QDs on the PL intensity of Si-QDs embedded in Si3N4. Photoluminescence (PL), time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL), X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES), X-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL), elastic recoil detection (ERD), positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS) and Fourier-Transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy measurements were used for characterization. We have found that the luminescence originated from both quantum confinement effects and defects. H, Al and P passivation was found to increase the PL intensity of Si-QDs in Si3N4 while impurities such as Cr3+ and oxygen vacancies dominate the PL spectra for Si-QDs in Al2O3.