Tuning the Bandgap Character of Quantum-Confined Si–Sn Alloyed Nanocrystals

Marius Bürkle, Mickaël Lozac'h, Calum McDonald, Manuel Macias-Montero, Bruno Alessi, Davide Mariotti, Vladimir Švrček

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4 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Nanocrystals in the regime between molecules and bulk give rise to unique electronic properties. Here, a thorough study focusing on quantum-confined nanocrystals (NCs) is provided. At the level of density functional theory an approximate (quasi) band structure which addresses both the molecular and bulk aspects of finite-sized NCs is calculated. In particular, how band-like features emerge with increasing particle diameter is shown. The quasiband structure is used to discuss technological-relevant direct bandgap NCs. It is found that ultrasmall Sn NCs have a direct bandgap in their at-nanoscale-stable α-phase and for high enough Sn concentration (≈41%) alloyed Si–Sn NCs transition from indirect to direct bandgap semiconductors. The calculations strongly support recent experiments suggesting a direct bandgap for these systems. For a quantitative comparison many-body GW + Bethe–Salpeter equation (BSE) calculations are performed. The predicted optical gaps are close to the experimental data and the calculated absorbance spectra compare well with the corresponding measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1907210
Pages (from-to)1907210
Number of pages6
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number22
Early online date2 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 26 May 2020


  • absorption measurements
  • bandgap engineering
  • direct bandgap nanocrystals
  • electronic structure calculations
  • silicon nanocrystals
  • silicon–tin nanocrystals


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