Inderscience Publishers

Active emitters based on nanostructured Si

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The present paper deals with the use of Si nanoclusters as efficient sensitisers for Er and Nd rare earth ions or as active emitters in Si/SiO2 Fabry-Perot microcavities. The films have been fabricated using the reactive magnetron sputtering of a silica target. The energy transfer efficiency from Si-nc towards Er ions has been studied as a function of the fabrication parameters (hydrogen rate, annealing temperature) through time resolved PL intensity measurements on Er-doped silicon-rich silica layers. A multilayer approach has been developed to determine the critical parameters such as the optimum Si-nc size and the characteristic interaction distance Si-nc-Er ions which govern the transfer Si-nc-Er. Thus we have found an optimum size of 4 nm for the Si nanocluster and a maximum spacing of 0.4 nm between the Si-nc sensitisers and the Er3+ ions. First results on the efficient sensitising effect of Si nanocluster towards Nd3+ ions are also reported. Concerning the optical planar Si/SiO2 microcavities, spectral, spatial and temporal photoluminescence behaviour of the Si/SiO2 multilayers confined inside the resonator are studied. The comparison with a reference sample evidences the effect of the distributed Bragg reflectors structure on the intensity enhancement and the directional characteristic of the emission.

Keywords: reactive magnetron sputtering, rare earth, silicon nanocrystals, Fabry-Perot microcavities, active emitters, silicon nanoclusters, nanotechnology

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