Cleavage Luminescence from Silicon
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Information Science
This paper reports on further research into the structure and properties of the cleaved surfaces of silicon, using vacuum cleavage luminescence detection methods. The experiments involved detecting the luminescence produced by cleaving thin silicon plates within a high vacuum, by a process of converting the luminescence to an amplified electrical signal. The experiments were based on the assumption that surface cleavage and reconstruction may cause electrons to become excited, and the resulting recombination process which involves the combining of an electron in the conduction band with a hole in the valence band, would result in an emission of energy that would be detectable. This hypothesis was supported by simple calculations that predicted that every broken atomic bond on a silicon surface should radiate one photon, thus generating a strong detectable emission signal.