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Silicon and Germanium Nanocrystal Thin Films Prepared Using Innovative Nonaqueous Electrophoretic Deposition

M. Haag, J. Sipe
Universal Nanotech Corporation, US

Keywords: silicon, germanium, nanocrystal, film, deposition


As cost effective synthetic routes for producing large quantities of high purity size-specific nanoparticles become fully realized, the next challenge lies in fabricating devices that utilize the unique size-dependent optoelectronic properties inherent in quantum dot materials. The optoelectronic properties of semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) have been rigorously researched and demonstrate desirable capabilities previously unattainable with bulk materials. Harnessing semiconductor NC characteristics to advance the functionality of devices such as solar cells, supercapacitors, and rechargeable batteries, hinges upon creating a highly ordered cohesive film. Methods of semiconductor NC film deposition which have been comprehensively investigated include layer-by-layer dip coating, spin casting, and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. However, relatively little research has been reported to employ techniques of electrophoretic deposition (EPD). While aqueous EPD using chlorides of silicon and germanium has seen some attention, the voltages required to deposit pure silicon and germanium nanocrystals from a colloid surpass the 3 to 4 volt threshold above which the electrolysis of water occurs. However, recent investigation into the electrochemistry of nonaqueous solvents has made considerable progress through greater understanding of dynamic solvent effects on electrochemical processes.
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