Monday, July 31, 2006

US Patent 7081664 - Doped Silicon Nanocrystal Powder

While silicon is extensively utilized to form electronic devices it is typically not a favorable material for optical applications such as solid state LEDs which more commonly employ compound semiconductors such as gallium arsenide. This patent is based on the finding that silicon nanocrystals that includes rare earth elements such as erbium, thulium, or europium have enhanced photoemission properties. Claim 1 reads:

1. A doped semiconductor powder comprising nanocrystals of a group IV semiconductor and a rare earth element, the rare earth element being dispersed on the surface of the group IV semiconductor nanocrystals.