Er<sup>3+</sup> ions embedded in silica thin films co-doped by SnO<sub>2</sub> nanocrystals are fabricated by sol-gel and spin coating methods. Uniformly distributed 4-nm SnO<sub>2</sub> nanocrystals are fabricated, and the nanocrystals showed tetragonal rutile crystalline structures confirmed by transmission electron microscope and X-ray diffraction measurements. A strong characteristic emission located at 1.54 μm from the Er<sup>3+</sup> ions is identified, and the influences of Sn doping concentrations on photoluminescence properties are systematically evaluated. The emission at 1.54 μm from Er<sup>3+</sup> ions is enhanced by more than three orders of magnitude, which can be attributed to the effective energy transfer from the defect states of SnO<sub>2</sub> nanocrystals to nearby Er<sup>3+</sup> ions, as revealed by the selective excitation experiments.
© 2012 Chinese Optics Letters
Xiaowei Zhang, Tao Lin, Xiaofan Jiang, Jun Xu, Jianfeng Liu, Ling Xu, and Kunji Chen, "Photoluminescence from Er3+ ion and SnO2 nanocrystal co-doped silica thin films," Chin. Opt. Lett. 10, 091603-091603 (2012)