Phosphorus and Boron Codoped Colloidal Silicon Nanocrystals with Inorganic Atomic Ligands

The surface structure of P and B codoped colloidal Si-NCs are studied by photoluminescence (PL) in hydrofluoric acid (HF) solution and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). We find that codoped Si-NCs are much more stable in HF solution than undoped, P-doped, and B-doped Si-NCs. The PL study combined with XPS results reveal that a high B concentration layer is formed on the surface of codoped Si-NCs and the layer acts as a kind of inorganic atomic ligands for Si-NCs. The high B concentration layer makes Si-NCs hydrophilic and dispersible in polar liquids. Furthermore, the layer effectively protects Si-NCs from oxidation in solution and in air.