Photoluminescence properties of powder and pulsed laser-deposited PbS nanoparticles in SiO2

M. S. Dhlamini, J. J. Terblans, O. M. Ntwaeaborwa, J. M. Ngaruiya, K. T. Hillie, J. R. Botha, H. C. Swart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Thin films of lead sulfide (PbS) nanoparticles embedded in an amorphous silica (SiO2) host were grown on Si(1 0 0) substrates at different temperatures by the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. Surface morphology and photoluminescence (PL) properties of samples were analyzed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and a 458 nm Ar+ laser, respectively. The PL data show a blue-shift from the normal emission at ∼3200 nm in PbS bulk to ∼560-700 nm in nanoparticulate PbS powders and thin films. Furthermore, the PL emission of the films was red-shifted from that of the powders at ∼560 to ∼660 nm. The blue-shifting of the emission wavelengths from 3200 to ∼560-700 nm is attributed to quantum confinement of charge carriers in the restricted volume of nanoparticles, while the red-shift between powders and thin-film PbS nanoparticles is speculated to be due to an increase in the defect concentration. The red-shift increased slightly with an increase in deposition temperature, which suggests that there has been a relative growth in particle sizes during the PLD of the films at higher temperatures. Generally, the PL emission of the powders was more intense than that of the films, although the intensity of some of the films was improved marginally by post-deposition annealing at 400 °C. This paper compares the PL properties of powder and pulsed laser-deposited thin films of PbS nanoparticles and the effects of deposition temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1997-2003
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Luminescence
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • PbS
  • Photoluminescence
  • Quantum-confinement
  • Red-shift
  • Substrate temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Photoluminescence properties of powder and pulsed laser-deposited PbS nanoparticles in SiO2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this