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International Journal of Optics
Volume 2011, Article ID 364594, 4 pages
Research Article

Efficient Silicon Light-Emitting-Diodes with a p-Si/Ultrathin SiO2/n-Si Structure

Development Bureau, Hamamatsu Photonics K. K., 5000 Hirakuchi, Hamakita-ku, Hamamatsu 434-8601, Japan

Received 28 April 2011; Accepted 6 June 2011

Academic Editor: Malin Premaratne

Copyright © 2011 Shucheng Chu and Hirofumi Kan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report the efficient enhancement of light emission from silicon crystal by covering the silicon surface with an ultrathin (several nm) SiO2 layer. The photoluminescence of Si band edge emission (1.14 μm band) at room temperature is enhanced by two orders of magnitude. Compared with a p-Si/n-Si diode, light emission from a p-Si/SiO2/n-Si diode by current injection via direct tunneling is enhanced by more than 3 orders of magnitude. The light-emission enhancement is attributed to the diminishment of nonradiation recombination at the surface/interface and to the space confinement of the carrier recombination. The simple structure and low operating bias (approximately 1 volt) of our light emitting diodes supply a new choice for realizing efficient current injection light source in silicon compatible with conventional ULSI technology.