Nano-crystalline silicon/silicon oxide (nc-Si/SiO2 structures have been prepared from amorphous silicon films on both silicon and quartz substrates by using electron-beam evaporation approach and annealing at temperatures about 600 oC in air. As a thermal oxidation procedure, the annealing treatment is not only a crystallization process but also an oxidation process. Scanning electron microscopy is employed to characterize the surface morphology of the nc-Si/SiO2 layers. Transmission electron microscopy study shows the sizes of nc-Si grains on the two different substrates. The nc-Si/SiO2 structures exhibit visible luminescence at room temperature as confirmed by photoluminescence spectroscopy. Comparing the photoluminescence spectra of different samples, our results agree with the quantum confinement-luminescence center model.
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