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The usage of semiconductor nanostructures is highly promising for boosting the energy conversion efficiency in photovoltaics technology, but still some of the underlying mechanisms are not well understood at the nanoscale length. Ge quantum dots (QDs) should have a larger absorption and a more efficient quantum confinement effect than Si ones, thus they are good candidate for third-generation solar cells. In this work, Ge QDs embedded in silica matrix have been synthesized through magnetron sputtering deposition and annealing up to 800°C. The thermal evolution of the QD size (2 to 10 nm) has been followed by transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques, evidencing an Ostwald ripening mechanism with a concomitant amorphous-crystalline transition. The optical absorption of Ge nanoclusters has been measured by spectrophotometry analyses, evidencing an optical bandgap of 1.6 …
Publication date: 
1 Dec 2011

Salvatore Cosentino, Salvatore Mirabella, Maria Miritello, Giuseppe Nicotra, Roberto Lo Savio, Francesca Simone, Corrado Spinella, Antonio Terrasi

Biblio References: 
Volume: 6 Issue: 1 Pages: 1-7
Nanoscale research letters