Si quantum dots (QDs) as small as ~2 nm in diameter have been synthesized by a variety of techniques. Because of quantum confinement and the elimination of bulk or surface defects, these dots can emit light from the near infrared throughout the visible with quantum efficiencies in excess of 10%. The luminescence wavelength range has been extended to longer wavelengths by the addition of light-emitting rare earths such as erbium (Er). Light-emitting devices (LEDs) have been fabricated and their performances are starting to approach those of direct band gap semiconductor or organic LEDs. A search for a Si QD-based laser is even under way. The state-of-the-art in the materials science, physics, and device development of luminescent Si QDs is reviewed and areas of future research are pointed out.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(04)00676-5