Facile production of stable silicon nanoparticles: laser chemistry coupled to in situ stabilization via room temperature hydrosilylation†
Stable, alkyl-terminated, light-emitting silicon nanoparticles have been synthesized in a continuous process by laser pyrolysis of a liquid trialkyl-silane precursor selected as a safer alternative to gas silane (SiH4). Stabilization was achieved by in situ reaction using a liquid collection system instead of the usual solid state filtration. The alkene contained in the collection liquid (1-dodecene) reacted with the newly formed silicon nanoparticles in an unusual room-temperature hydrosilylation process. It was achieved by the presence of fluoride species, also produced during laser pyrolysis from the decomposition of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) selected as a laser sensitizer. This process directly rendered alkyl-passivated silicon nanoparticles with consistent morphology and size (<3 nm), avoiding the use of costly post-synthetic treatments.