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5 November 2002 Optical gain in PECVD silicon nanocrystals
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Optical gain has been recently observed in ion implanted Si nanocrystals (nc). Critical issues to the observation of optical gain are the formation of a waveguide structure to improve the mode confinement and a large nanocrystal area den-sity in the samples. Here we confirm these results by measuring optical gain by the variable stripe length (VSL) method on a set of silicon nanocrystals (nc) formed by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and annealing treatments. Time resolved VSL measurements with ns pulses at high pumping fluencies have revealed fast component in the recombination dynamics under gain conditions. Lifetime shortening and superlinear emission have been unambi-guously observed. The spectral shape of the fast luminescence is consistent with the amplified spontaneous emission lineshape (ASE) observed under CW pumping conditions and overlaps the gain spectral band. The observation of light amplification is critically dependent on a very delicate balance among the nc gain cross sections, the optical mode losses of the waveguide structure, and the fast non radiative Auger processes. Within a four levels model we quantify the strong competition among all these processes and we obtain a satisfactory agreement with the experiments.
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Luca Dal Negro, Massimo Cazzanelli, Zeno Gaburro, Lorenzo Pavesi, Domenico Pacifici, Franceso Priolo, Giorgia Franzo, and Fabio Iacona "Optical gain in PECVD silicon nanocrystals", Proc. SPIE 4808, Optical Properties of Nanocrystals, (5 November 2002);

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