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One-Pot Gram-Scale Synthesis of Hydrogen-Terminated Silicon Nanoparticles

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journal contribution
posted on 10.09.2018, 12:36 by Sidharam P. Pujari, Hafedh Driss, Fatma Bannani, Barend van Lagen, Han Zuilhof
Silicon nanoparticles (Si NPs) are highly attractive materials for typical quantum dots functions, such as in light-emitting and bioimaging applications, owing to silicon’s intrinsic merits of minimal toxicity, low cost, high abundance, and easy and highly stable functionalization. Especially nonoxidized Si NPs with a covalently bound coating serve well in these respects, given the minimization of surface defects upon hydrosilylation of H-terminated Si NPs. However, to date, methods to obtain such H-terminated Si NPs are still not easy. Herein, we report a new synthetic method to produce size-tunable robust, highly crystalline H-terminated Si NPs (4–9 nm) using microwave irradiation within 5 min at temperatures between 25 and 200 °C and their further covalent functionalization. The key step to obtain highly fluorescent (quantum yield of 7–16%) green-red Si NPs in one simple step is the reduction of triethoxysilane and (+)-sodium l-ascorbate, yielding routinely ∼1 g of H–Si NPs via a highly scalable route in 5–15 min. Subsequent functionalization via hydrosilylation yielded Si NPs with an emission quantum yield of 12–14%. This approach can be used to easily produce high-quality H–Si NPs in gram-scale quantities, which brings the application of functionalized Si NPs significantly closer.