06157047 is referenced by 81 patents.
A device structure provides improved efficiency of light emission from a light emitting element made of silicon while rendering such emission electrically controllable. Silicon in the light emitting element comprises fine microcrystals, which are miniaturized sufficiently to cause a quantum size effect. The microcrystals may be 10 nanometers (nm) or less in grain size. A dielectric film of 5 nm thick or less is formed containing therein such microcrystals. The microcrystal structure section is disposed between p- and n-type semiconductor layers. These layers are brought into electrical contact with the microcrystal structure only, while causing the remaining portions to be electrically insulative by a dielectric film or the like. Elementary particles of the opposite polarities, e.g. electrons and holes, are injected by tunnel effect into the microcrystals resulting in emission of light rays with increased efficiency.