This paper describes a simple approach to the large-scale synthesis of colloidal Si nanocrystals and their processing into spin-on carbon-free nanocrystalline Si films. The synthesized silicon nanoparticles are capped with decene, dispersed in hexane, and deposited on silicon substrates. The deposited films are exposed to nonoxidizing room-temperature He plasma to remove the organic ligands without adversely affecting the silicon nanoparticles to form crack-free thin films. We further show that the reactive ion etching rate in these films is 1.87 times faster than that for single-crystalline Si, consistent with a simple geometric argument that accounts for the nanoscale roughness caused by the nanoparticle shape.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/emily-smith/35/