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Properties of Al2O3: nc-Si nanostructures formed by implantation of silicon ions into sapphire and amorphous films of aluminum oxide

Tetelbaum, D. I.
Mikhaylov, A. N.
Belov, A. I.
Ershov, A. V.
Pitirimova, E. A.
Plankina, S. M.
Smirnov, V. N.
Kovalev, A. I.
Turan, Raşit
Yerci, Selçuk
Finstad, T. G.
Photoluminescence, infrared Fourier spectroscopy, Raman scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and electron diffraction were used to study the luminescent, optical, and structural properties of aluminum oxide layers (sapphire and films of Al2O3 deposited on silicon) implanted with Si+ to produce silicon nanocrystals. It is established that, in both cases, a high-temperature annealing of heavily implanted samples brings about the formation of silicon nanocrystals. However, the luminescent properties of the nanocrystals are strongly dependent on the type of pristine matrix; namely, nanocrystals in Al2O3 films emit light in the spectral range typical of Si quantum dots (700-850 nm), whereas in sapphire this photoluminescence is not observed. This difference is interpreted as being due to the fact that local stresses arise in the nanocrystal/sapphire system and break chemical bonds at the interface between the phases, whereas in Al2O3 films stresses are relaxed.