The use of nanostructured semiconducting material to catalyze degradation of environmental pollutants still receives much attention to date. One of the desired characteristics for pollutant degradation under ultra-violet visible light is the materials with extended carrier charge separation that allows for electronic transfer between the catalyst and the pollutants. In this work, zinc oxide n-type semiconductor vertically aligned structures were fabricated on silicon (100) substrates using the chemical bath deposition method. The as-synthesized structures were treated with nickel and sulphur. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to characterize the phase purity, structural dimensions and elemental composition of the obtained structures respectively. Photoluminescence emission measurements showed a decrease in both the near band edge emission as well as the defect band emission upon addition of nickel and sulphur with different concentrations. This was attributed to increased charger-carrier-separation due to the presence of Ni-S material on ZnO surface, which is linked to improved charge transfer during photocatalytic reactions.
A thin gold metal layer was deposited on the top of silicon oxide films containing embedded Si nanocrystals (Si-nc). The sample was annealed in a gas containing nitrogen, and subsequently characterized by photoluminescence. We obtained 3-fold enhancement of photon emission from the Si-nc embedded in silicon dioxide covered with a Gold layer as compared with an uncovered sample. We attribute this enhancement to the increase of the spontaneous emission rate caused by the coupling of the Si-nc emitters with the surface plasmons (SP). The evolution of PL emission with laser irradiated time was also collected from covered samples, and compared to that from uncovered samples. In an uncovered sample, the PL intensity decreases with time, approximately with two decay constants. Although the decrease of the initial PL intensity associated with the increase of sample temperature under CW pumping is still observed in samples covered with a gold layer, this film significantly contributes to reduce the permanent deterioration of the PL intensity. The resistance to degradation of light-emitting silicon nanocrystals can be increased by SP coupling to suppress the permanent deterioration. Controlling the permanent photodeterioration can allow to perform a reliable optical gain measurement.