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Stark effect, polarizability, and electroabsorption in silicon nanocrystals

Kulakci, Mustafa
Turan, Raşit
Demonstrating the quantum-confined Stark effect (QCSE) in silicon nanocrystals (NCs) embedded in oxide has been rather elusive, unlike the other materials. Here, the recent experimental data from ion-implanted Si NCs is unambiguously explained within the context of QCSE using an atomistic pseudopotential theory. This further reveals that the majority of the Stark shift comes from the valence states which undergo a level crossing that leads to a nonmonotonic radiative recombination behavior with respect to the applied field. The polarizability of embedded Si NCs including the excitonic effects is extracted over a diameter range of 2.5-6.5 nm, which displays a cubic scaling, alpha=cD(NC)(3), with c=2.436x10(-11) C/(V m), where D-NC is the NC diameter. Finally, based on intraband electroabsorption analysis, it is predicted that p-doped Si NCs will show substantial voltage tunability, whereas n-doped samples should be almost insensitive. Given the fact that bulk silicon lacks the linear electro-optic effect as being a centrosymmetric crystal, this may offer a viable alternative for electrical modulation using p-doped Si NCs.