This paper presents briefly the history of emission study in Si quantum dots (QDs) in the last two decades. Stable light emission of Si QDs and NCs was observed in the spectral ranges: blue, green, orange, red and infrared. The analysis of recombination transitions and the different ways of the emission stimulation in Si QD structures, related to the element variation for the passivation of surface dangling bonds, as well as the plasmon induced emission and rare earth impurity activation, have been discussed.
The different applications of Si QD structures in quantum electronics, such as: Si QD light emitting diodes, Si QD single union and tandem solar cells, Si QD memory structures, Si QD based one electron devices and double QD structures for spintronics, have been presented. The different features of poly-, micro- and nanocrystalline silicon for solar cells, that is a mixture of both amorphous and crystalline phases, such as the silicon nanocrystals (NCs) or QDs embedded in a α-Si:H matrix, as well as the thin film 2-cell or 3-cell tandem solar cells based on Si QD structures have been discussed as well. Silicon NC based structures for non-volatile memory purposes, the recent studies of Si QD base single electron devices and the single-electron occupation of QDs as an important component to the measurement and manipulation of spins in quantum information processing have been analyzed as well.