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Nano letters

Silicon oxide nanoparticles reveal the origin of silicate grains in circumstellar environments.


PMID 16771578

Abstract

A synergistic effort combining experiments in beams and first principles theoretical investigations is used to propose mechanisms that could lead to the formation of silicates and nanoparticles with silicon-rich cores through agglomeration of SiO, an abundant oxygen-bearing species in space. The silicon oxygen species involved in the transformation have optical excitations that could contribute to extended red emissions and blue luminescence. Apart from resolving an outstanding astronomical problem, we demonstrate novel silicon architectures.