•Doping rare earth ions into ZnO is an important way to fabricate ZnO light-emitting devices, but the Er3+ photoluminescence in ZnO has not been satisfactory. Futhermore, there are few studies on the combination of Ge nanostructures (nc-Ge) and ZnO material, the understanding of nc-Ge formation mechanism in ZnO host and their physical and optical properties are still preliminary. In this paper, the formation of Ge nanocrystals in Er-doped ZnO films and their enhancement effects on Er photoluminescence have been studied. The presence of nc-Ge significantly enhances the Er-related 1.54 μm PL, and the nc-Ge with size ∼5 nm makes the obvious contribution to PL enhancement. It is elaborated that the luminescence enhancement is caused by the energy transfer between nc-Ge and Er3+ PL centers. This paper investigates the photoluminescence properties of rare-earth-doped materials, which we think is coincident with the research field in Applied Surface Science. Compared to our previously published work, this paper investigates the controllable growth of nc-Ge in (Ge, Er) co-doped ZnO film, and explains the previous problem that the luminescence efficiency of Er3+ is enhanced by the energy transfer from nc-Ge to Er3+, not the change of local environment of ZnO.
Precambrian Research – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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