EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 377, Number 2, October II 2001
Page(s) 707 - 720
Section Physical and chemical processes
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011136

A&A 377, 707-720 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011136

Crystalline silicon nanoparticles as carriers for the Extended Red Emission

G. Ledoux1, 2, O. Guillois1, F. Huisken2, B. Kohn2, D. Porterat1 and C. Reynaud1

1  CEA/DSM/DRECAM/SPAM, CE Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
2  Max-Planck-Institut für Strömungsforschung, Bunsenstrasse 10, 37073 Göttingen, Germany

(Received 25 January 2001 / Accepted 26 July 2001)

In an attempt to determine the carrier of the Extended Red Emission (ERE), we have investigated a series of amorphous and crystalline materials: natural coal, amorphous hydrogenated carbon, amorphous hydrogenated silicon carbide, porous silicon, and crystalline silicon nanoparticles. The photoluminescence (PL) behavior of various samples of these materials upon excitation with UV light was studied at room temperature focusing on both the wavelength dependence of the photoluminescence and the PL yield. For some samples the yield is by far too low, other samples do not comply with the characteristic wavelength range of ERE. Only the samples of nanocrystalline silicon (porous silicon and silicon nanoparticles) reveal PL properties that are compatible with the astronomical observations. Besides this experimental evidence, we will supply additional arguments leading to the conclusion that silicon nanoparticles should be seriously considered as an attractive carrier for the Extended Red Emission.

Key words: interstellar medium: dust, extinction -- ISM: reflection nebulae

Offprint request: G. Ledoux, gledoux@gwdg.de

© ESO 2001