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The growth of vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNFs) in a catalytic dc ammonia/acetylene plasma process on silicon substrates is often accompanied by sidewall deposition of material that contains predominantly Si and N. In fluorescent microscopy experiments, whereby VACNFs are interfaced to cell and tissue cultures for a variety of applications, it was observed that this material is broadly fluorescent. In this paper, we provide insight into nature of these silicon/nitrogen in-situdoi:10.3934/matersci.2014.2.87 fatcat:32p5em3nfncqjhlsckbtrawr7u