An apparatus and non-vapor-pressure dependent methods of producing silicon particles such as nanoparticles (Si-NPs), quantum dots (Si-QDs) and Si-nanocrystals (Si-NCs) as well as particle embedded thin films are disclosed. Nano or micro scale droplets of a liquid silane composition are polymerized in a gas phase with heat or radiation to produce particles that are then collected. Droplets from a droplet generator pass through a flow channel with a reaction zone that is heated or irradiated to form the particles that are collected in a collector. The flow of droplets may be assisted with carrier or flow gases that may be heated. Liquid silane composition solutions may also include metal, non-metal or metalloid dopants and solvents. Particle surfaces can also be passivated or functionalized. Particles and droplets of liquid silane can also be co-deposited and heated to produce particle embedded thin films.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with Government support under DE-FC36-08GO88160 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.