Anisotropic optical properties of single Si2Te3 nanoplates


We report a combined experimental and computational study of the optical properties of individual silicon telluride (Si2Te3) nanoplates. The p-type semiconductor Si2Te3 has a unique layered crystal structure with hexagonal closed-packed Te sublattices and Si–Si dimers occupying octahedral intercalation sites. The orientation of the silicon dimers leads to unique optical and electronic properties. Two-dimensional Si2Te3 nanoplates with thicknesses of hundreds of nanometers and lateral sizes of tens of micrometers are synthesized by a chemical vapor deposition technique. At temperatures below 150 K, the Si2Te3 nanoplates exhibit a direct band structure with a band gap energy of 2.394 eV at 7 K and an estimated free exciton binding energy of 150 meV. Polarized reflection measurements at different temperatures show anisotropy in the absorption coefficient due to an anisotropic orientation of the silicon dimers, which is in excellent agreement with theoretical calculations of the dielectric functions. Polarized Raman measurements of single Si2Te3 nanoplates at different temperatures reveal various vibrational modes, which agree with density functional perturbation theory calculations. The unique structural and optical properties of nanostructured Si2Te3 hold great potential applications in optoelectronics and chemical sensing.

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Scientific Reports