"Three-dimensional imaging of nonspherical siliconnanoparticles embedded in silicon oxide by plasmon tomography", Aycan Yurtsever, Matthew Weyland, and David A. Muller, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 151920 (2006).
Silicon nanoparticles embedded in silica show promising optoelectronic properties, due to quantum confinement and/or radiative interface states that should correlate with the particles' average size and shape. Using a combination of electron tomography with plasmon-filtered microscopy in order to reconstruct the three-dimensional morphology of silicon nanoparticles we find that particles with complex morphologies and high surface to volume ratios are dominant, rather than the commonly assumed near-spherical structures. These results should affect quantum-confined excitons and the interface density of states. Their findings may help to explain the physical origin of the unusually broad photoluminescence bands and efficiencies.