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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 22, Iss. 11 — Jun. 2, 2014
  • pp: 13022–13028
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Sensitization of Er3+ ions in silicon rich oxynitride films: effect of thermal treatments

Lingbo Xu, Lu Jin, Dongsheng Li, and Deren Yang  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue 11, pp. 13022-13028 (2014)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.22.013022


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Abstract

The optical properties of reactive co-sputtered erbium doped silicon rich oxynitride (Er:SRON) films are studied as a function of annealing temperatures (Ta). The sensitization mechanism of Er3+ is found to evolve with Ta: excess Si related localized states play the essential role in samples when Ta is below 700 °C, while silicon nanoclusters (Si-NCs) become the dominate sensitizers when Ta exceeds 800 °C. Our results show that higher density of sensitized Er3+ could be acquired via energy transfer from localized states, and thus provide an alternative way for the engineering of light sources based on Er:SRON.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

1. Introduction

Erbium doped silicon-based materials provide a valuable approach for optoelectronic devices that can be monolithically integrated atop the widespread silicon electronics platform. Erbium, in its trivalent Er3+ state, could emit sharp luminescence at the standard telecommunication wavelength of 1.5 μm, and has hence attracted much attention [1

1. A. Polman, “Erbium implanted thin film photonic materials,” J. Appl. Phys. 82(1), 1–39 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Particularly, the observation of efficient energy transfer from Si nanoclusters (Si-NCs) embedded in SiO2 matrix to Er3+ ions has made a major breakthrough in this subject, increasing the Er3+ excitation cross section by 3~4 orders of magnitude as well as broadening the excitation band [2

2. A. J. Kenyon, P. F. Trwoga, M. Federighi, and C. W. Pitt, “Optical properties of PECVD erbium-doped silicon-rich silica: evidence for energy transfer between silicon microclusters and erbium ions,” J. Phys. Condens. Matter 6(21), L319–L324 (1994). [CrossRef]

4

4. F. Priolo, G. Franzò, D. Pacifici, V. Vinciguerra, F. Iacona, and A. Irrera, “Role of the energy transfer in the optical properties of undoped and Er-doped interacting Si nanocrystals,” J. Appl. Phys. 89(1), 264–272 (2001). [CrossRef]

]. Recently, intense 1.54 μm luminescence of Er3+ ions has been observed in Er doped silicon rich oxynitride (Er:SRON), and non-resonant Er excitation via Si-NCs has been demonstrated [5

5. S. Cueff, C. Labbé, L. Khomenkova, O. Jambois, P. Pellegrino, B. Garrido, C. Frilay, and R. Rizk, “Silicon-rich oxynitride hosts for 1.5 μm Er3+ emission fabricated by reactive and standard RF magnetron sputtering,” Mater. Sci. Eng. B: Adv. Funct. Solid-State Mater. 177(10), 725–728 (2012). [CrossRef]

,6

6. L. Xu, L. Jin, D. Li, and D. Yang, “Effects of excess silicon on the 1540 nm Er3+ luminescence in silicon rich oxynitride films,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 103(7), 071101 (2013). [CrossRef]

]. Compared with silicon rich oxide (SRO), the widely studied host matrix for Er3+ ions, the narrower band gap of silicon rich oxynitride (SRON) favors the carrier injection, and the higher refractive index is beneficial for optical mode confinement. Additionally, the band structure of SiOxNy can be easily modulated by changing the oxygen/nitrogen ratio, and equivalent carrier injections could be achieved in Si/SiOxNy system [7

7. X. Wang, R. Huang, C. Song, Y. Guo, and J. Song, “Effect of barrier layers on electroluminescence from Si/SiOxNy multilayer structures,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 102(8), 081114 (2013). [CrossRef]

], shedding light on the potential applications in bipolar devices for SRON. Generally, the Er excitation in the electroluminescence process in unipolar devices is quite different from that in bipolar devices. In unipolar devices [8

8. A. Nazarov, J. M. Sun, W. Skorupa, R. A. Yankov, I. N. Osiyuk, I. P. Tjagulskii, V. S. Lysenko, and T. Gebel, “Light emission and charge trapping in Er-doped silicon dioxide films containing silicon nanocrystals,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86(15), 151914 (2005). [CrossRef]

10

10. S. Cueff, J. Manel Ramírez, J. A. Kurvits, Y. Berencén, R. Zia, B. Garrido, R. Rizk, and C. Labbé, “Electroluminescence efficiencies of erbium in silicon-based hosts,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 103(19), 191109 (2013). [CrossRef]

], e.g. most of the reported SiO2 based light emitting devices under direct current conditions where electron conduction is dominant, the excitation probability of sensitizers via capture of electrons and holes is low and the efficient route to excite Er3+ ions is via impact excitation by hot carriers when the applied electric field is large enough. While in bipolar devices [11

11. A. Anopchenko, A. Tengattini, A. Marconi, N. Prtljaga, J. M. Ramírez, O. Jambois, Y. Berencén, D. Navarro-Urrios, B. Garrido, F. Milesi, J.-P. Colonna, J.-M. Fedeli, and L. Pavesi, “Bipolar pulsed excitation of erbium-doped nanosilicon light emitting diodes,” J. Appl. Phys. 111(6), 063102 (2012). [CrossRef]

,12

12. J. M. Ramíırez, F. Ferrarese Lupi, O. Jambois, Y. Berencén, D. Navarro-Urrios, A. Anopchenko, A. Marconi, N. Prtljaga, A. Tengattini, L. Pavesi, J. P. Colonna, J. M. Fedeli, and B. Garrido, “Erbium emission in MOS light emitting devices: from energy transfer to direct impact excitation,” Nanotechnology 23(12), 125203 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], injected electrons and holes can be efficiently captured by sensitizers and create excited states, which upon recombination transfer their energy to Er3+ ions and significantly increase the Er3+ excitation cross section, in a low electric field which is not sufficient to generate hot carriers. The onset voltage of Er3+ EL for the unipolar devices is usually high and thus incompatible with current CMOS technology. It would be reduced by bipolar injection, increasing consequently the reliability of devices. SRON containing Si-NCs is thus an ideal host matrix for Er3+ doping, taking into account both the optical and electrical pumping.

In this letter, we study the optical properties of Er:SRON films prepared by reactive co-sputtering. Post-deposition annealing is performed in a wide range of temperatures (Ta), from 600 °C where the films are amorphous, to 1100 °C where phase separation occurs. The evolution of sensitization mechanism with Ta has been particularly examined.

2. Experiment

3. Results and discussion

4. Conclusions

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the 973 Program (No. 2013CB632102), and the Innovation Team Project of Zhejiang Province (No. 2009R5005).

References and links

1.

A. Polman, “Erbium implanted thin film photonic materials,” J. Appl. Phys. 82(1), 1–39 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

2.

A. J. Kenyon, P. F. Trwoga, M. Federighi, and C. W. Pitt, “Optical properties of PECVD erbium-doped silicon-rich silica: evidence for energy transfer between silicon microclusters and erbium ions,” J. Phys. Condens. Matter 6(21), L319–L324 (1994). [CrossRef]

3.

M. Fujii, M. Yoshida, Y. Kanzawa, S. Hayashi, and K. Yamamoto, “1.54 μm photoluminescence of Er3+ doped into SiO2 films containing Si nanocrystals: Evidence for energy transfer from Si nanocrystals to Er3+,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 71(9), 1198–1200 (1997). [CrossRef]

4.

F. Priolo, G. Franzò, D. Pacifici, V. Vinciguerra, F. Iacona, and A. Irrera, “Role of the energy transfer in the optical properties of undoped and Er-doped interacting Si nanocrystals,” J. Appl. Phys. 89(1), 264–272 (2001). [CrossRef]

5.

S. Cueff, C. Labbé, L. Khomenkova, O. Jambois, P. Pellegrino, B. Garrido, C. Frilay, and R. Rizk, “Silicon-rich oxynitride hosts for 1.5 μm Er3+ emission fabricated by reactive and standard RF magnetron sputtering,” Mater. Sci. Eng. B: Adv. Funct. Solid-State Mater. 177(10), 725–728 (2012). [CrossRef]

6.

L. Xu, L. Jin, D. Li, and D. Yang, “Effects of excess silicon on the 1540 nm Er3+ luminescence in silicon rich oxynitride films,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 103(7), 071101 (2013). [CrossRef]

7.

X. Wang, R. Huang, C. Song, Y. Guo, and J. Song, “Effect of barrier layers on electroluminescence from Si/SiOxNy multilayer structures,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 102(8), 081114 (2013). [CrossRef]

8.

A. Nazarov, J. M. Sun, W. Skorupa, R. A. Yankov, I. N. Osiyuk, I. P. Tjagulskii, V. S. Lysenko, and T. Gebel, “Light emission and charge trapping in Er-doped silicon dioxide films containing silicon nanocrystals,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86(15), 151914 (2005). [CrossRef]

9.

O. Jambois, J. M. Ramírez, Y. Berencén, D. Navarro-Urrios, A. Anopchenko, A. Marconi, N. Prtljaga, A. Tengattini, P. Pellegrino, N. Daldosso, L. Pavesi, J.-P. Colonna, J.-M. Fedeli, and B. Garrido, “Effect of the annealing treatments on the electroluminescence efficiency of SiO2 layers doped with Si and Er,” J. Phys. D Appl. Phys. 45(4), 045103 (2012). [CrossRef]

10.

S. Cueff, J. Manel Ramírez, J. A. Kurvits, Y. Berencén, R. Zia, B. Garrido, R. Rizk, and C. Labbé, “Electroluminescence efficiencies of erbium in silicon-based hosts,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 103(19), 191109 (2013). [CrossRef]

11.

A. Anopchenko, A. Tengattini, A. Marconi, N. Prtljaga, J. M. Ramírez, O. Jambois, Y. Berencén, D. Navarro-Urrios, B. Garrido, F. Milesi, J.-P. Colonna, J.-M. Fedeli, and L. Pavesi, “Bipolar pulsed excitation of erbium-doped nanosilicon light emitting diodes,” J. Appl. Phys. 111(6), 063102 (2012). [CrossRef]

12.

J. M. Ramíırez, F. Ferrarese Lupi, O. Jambois, Y. Berencén, D. Navarro-Urrios, A. Anopchenko, A. Marconi, N. Prtljaga, A. Tengattini, L. Pavesi, J. P. Colonna, J. M. Fedeli, and B. Garrido, “Erbium emission in MOS light emitting devices: from energy transfer to direct impact excitation,” Nanotechnology 23(12), 125203 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13.

O. Savchyn, F. R. Ruhge, P. G. Kik, R. M. Todi, K. R. Coffey, H. Nukala, and H. Heinrich, “Luminescence-center-mediated excitation as the dominant Er sensitization mechanism in Er-doped silicon-rich SiO2 films,” Phys. Rev. B 76(19), 195419 (2007). [CrossRef]

14.

L. Jin, D. Li, L. Xiang, F. Wang, D. Yang, and D. Que, “Energy transfer from luminescent centers to Er3+ in erbium-doped silicon-rich oxide films,” Nanoscale Res. Lett. 8(1), 366 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15.

S. Yerci, R. Li, S. O. Kucheyev, T. van Buuren, S. N. Basu, and L. Dal Negro, “Energy transfer and 1.54 μm emission in amorphous silicon nitride films,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 95(3), 031107 (2009). [CrossRef]

16.

M. Wojdak, M. Klik, M. Forcales, O. B. Gusev, T. Gregorkiewicz, D. Pacifici, G. Franzò, F. Priolo, and F. Iacona, “Sensitization of Er luminescence by Si nanoclusters,” Phys. Rev. B 69(23), 233315 (2004). [CrossRef]

17.

C. J. Oton, W. H. Loh, and A. J. Kenyon, “Er3+ excited state absorption and the low fraction of nanocluster-excitable Er3+ in SiOx,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(3), 031116 (2006). [CrossRef]

18.

B. Garrido, C. García, P. Pellegrino, D. Navarro-Urrios, N. Daldosso, L. Pavesi, F. Gourbilleau, and R. Rizk, “Distance dependent interaction as the limiting factor for Si nanocluster to Er energy transfer in silica,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(16), 163103 (2006). [CrossRef]

19.

B. Garrido, C. García, S. Y. Seo, P. Pellegrino, D. Navarro-Urrios, N. Daldosso, L. Pavesi, F. Gourbilleau, and R. Rizk, “Excitable Er fraction and quenching phenomena in Er-doped SiO2 layers containing Si nanoclusters,” Phys. Rev. B 76(24), 245308 (2007). [CrossRef]

20.

F. Lenz, A. Hryciw, R. DeCorby, and A. Meldrum, “Reversing the temperature dependence of the sensitized Er3+ luminescence intensity,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 95(9), 091909 (2009). [CrossRef]

21.

F. Rebib, E. Tomasella, M. Dubois, J. Cellier, T. Sauvage, and M. Jacquet, “Structural and optical investigations of SiOxNy thin films deposited by R.F. sputtering,” Surf. Coat. Tech. 200(1–4), 330–333 (2005). [CrossRef]

22.

K. Hijazi, R. Rizk, J. Cardin, L. Khomenkova, and F. Gourbilleau, “Towards an optimum coupling between Er ions and Si-based sensitizers for integrated active photonics,” J. Appl. Phys. 106(2), 024311 (2009). [CrossRef]

23.

E. Steveler, H. Rinnert, X. Devaux, M. Dossot, and M. Vergnat, “Indirect excitation of Er3+ ions in silicon nitride films prepared by reactive evaporation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 97(22), 221902 (2010). [CrossRef]

24.

N. Prtljaga, D. Navarro-Urrios, A. Tengattini, A. Anopchenko, J. M. Ramírez, J. M. Rebled, S. Estradé, J. P. Colonna, J. M. Fedeli, B. Garrido, and L. Pavesi, “Limit to the erbium ions emission in silicon-rich oxide films by erbium ion clustering,” Opt. Mater. Express 2(9), 1278–1285 (2012). [CrossRef]

25.

O. Savchyn, P. G. Kik, R. M. Todi, and K. R. Coffey, “Effect of hydrogen passivation on luminescence-center-mediated Er excitation in Si-rich SiO2 with and without Si nanocrystals,” Phys. Rev. B 77(20), 205438 (2008). [CrossRef]

OCIS Codes
(160.5690) Materials : Rare-earth-doped materials
(250.5230) Optoelectronics : Photoluminescence
(310.6860) Thin films : Thin films, optical properties

ToC Category:
Materials

History
Original Manuscript: April 10, 2014
Revised Manuscript: May 12, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: May 13, 2014
Published: May 21, 2014

Citation
Lingbo Xu, Lu Jin, Dongsheng Li, and Deren Yang, "Sensitization of Er3+ ions in silicon rich oxynitride films: effect of thermal treatments," Opt. Express 22, 13022-13028 (2014)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-22-11-13022


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References

  1. A. Polman, “Erbium implanted thin film photonic materials,” J. Appl. Phys. 82(1), 1–39 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. A. J. Kenyon, P. F. Trwoga, M. Federighi, C. W. Pitt, “Optical properties of PECVD erbium-doped silicon-rich silica: evidence for energy transfer between silicon microclusters and erbium ions,” J. Phys. Condens. Matter 6(21), L319–L324 (1994). [CrossRef]
  3. M. Fujii, M. Yoshida, Y. Kanzawa, S. Hayashi, K. Yamamoto, “1.54 μm photoluminescence of Er3+ doped into SiO2 films containing Si nanocrystals: Evidence for energy transfer from Si nanocrystals to Er3+,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 71(9), 1198–1200 (1997). [CrossRef]
  4. F. Priolo, G. Franzò, D. Pacifici, V. Vinciguerra, F. Iacona, A. Irrera, “Role of the energy transfer in the optical properties of undoped and Er-doped interacting Si nanocrystals,” J. Appl. Phys. 89(1), 264–272 (2001). [CrossRef]
  5. S. Cueff, C. Labbé, L. Khomenkova, O. Jambois, P. Pellegrino, B. Garrido, C. Frilay, R. Rizk, “Silicon-rich oxynitride hosts for 1.5 μm Er3+ emission fabricated by reactive and standard RF magnetron sputtering,” Mater. Sci. Eng. B: Adv. Funct. Solid-State Mater. 177(10), 725–728 (2012). [CrossRef]
  6. L. Xu, L. Jin, D. Li, D. Yang, “Effects of excess silicon on the 1540 nm Er3+ luminescence in silicon rich oxynitride films,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 103(7), 071101 (2013). [CrossRef]
  7. X. Wang, R. Huang, C. Song, Y. Guo, J. Song, “Effect of barrier layers on electroluminescence from Si/SiOxNy multilayer structures,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 102(8), 081114 (2013). [CrossRef]
  8. A. Nazarov, J. M. Sun, W. Skorupa, R. A. Yankov, I. N. Osiyuk, I. P. Tjagulskii, V. S. Lysenko, T. Gebel, “Light emission and charge trapping in Er-doped silicon dioxide films containing silicon nanocrystals,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86(15), 151914 (2005). [CrossRef]
  9. O. Jambois, J. M. Ramírez, Y. Berencén, D. Navarro-Urrios, A. Anopchenko, A. Marconi, N. Prtljaga, A. Tengattini, P. Pellegrino, N. Daldosso, L. Pavesi, J.-P. Colonna, J.-M. Fedeli, B. Garrido, “Effect of the annealing treatments on the electroluminescence efficiency of SiO2 layers doped with Si and Er,” J. Phys. D Appl. Phys. 45(4), 045103 (2012). [CrossRef]
  10. S. Cueff, J. Manel Ramírez, J. A. Kurvits, Y. Berencén, R. Zia, B. Garrido, R. Rizk, C. Labbé, “Electroluminescence efficiencies of erbium in silicon-based hosts,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 103(19), 191109 (2013). [CrossRef]
  11. A. Anopchenko, A. Tengattini, A. Marconi, N. Prtljaga, J. M. Ramírez, O. Jambois, Y. Berencén, D. Navarro-Urrios, B. Garrido, F. Milesi, J.-P. Colonna, J.-M. Fedeli, L. Pavesi, “Bipolar pulsed excitation of erbium-doped nanosilicon light emitting diodes,” J. Appl. Phys. 111(6), 063102 (2012). [CrossRef]
  12. J. M. Ramíırez, F. Ferrarese Lupi, O. Jambois, Y. Berencén, D. Navarro-Urrios, A. Anopchenko, A. Marconi, N. Prtljaga, A. Tengattini, L. Pavesi, J. P. Colonna, J. M. Fedeli, B. Garrido, “Erbium emission in MOS light emitting devices: from energy transfer to direct impact excitation,” Nanotechnology 23(12), 125203 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. O. Savchyn, F. R. Ruhge, P. G. Kik, R. M. Todi, K. R. Coffey, H. Nukala, H. Heinrich, “Luminescence-center-mediated excitation as the dominant Er sensitization mechanism in Er-doped silicon-rich SiO2 films,” Phys. Rev. B 76(19), 195419 (2007). [CrossRef]
  14. L. Jin, D. Li, L. Xiang, F. Wang, D. Yang, D. Que, “Energy transfer from luminescent centers to Er3+ in erbium-doped silicon-rich oxide films,” Nanoscale Res. Lett. 8(1), 366 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. S. Yerci, R. Li, S. O. Kucheyev, T. van Buuren, S. N. Basu, L. Dal Negro, “Energy transfer and 1.54 μm emission in amorphous silicon nitride films,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 95(3), 031107 (2009). [CrossRef]
  16. M. Wojdak, M. Klik, M. Forcales, O. B. Gusev, T. Gregorkiewicz, D. Pacifici, G. Franzò, F. Priolo, F. Iacona, “Sensitization of Er luminescence by Si nanoclusters,” Phys. Rev. B 69(23), 233315 (2004). [CrossRef]
  17. C. J. Oton, W. H. Loh, A. J. Kenyon, “Er3+ excited state absorption and the low fraction of nanocluster-excitable Er3+ in SiOx,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(3), 031116 (2006). [CrossRef]
  18. B. Garrido, C. García, P. Pellegrino, D. Navarro-Urrios, N. Daldosso, L. Pavesi, F. Gourbilleau, R. Rizk, “Distance dependent interaction as the limiting factor for Si nanocluster to Er energy transfer in silica,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(16), 163103 (2006). [CrossRef]
  19. B. Garrido, C. García, S. Y. Seo, P. Pellegrino, D. Navarro-Urrios, N. Daldosso, L. Pavesi, F. Gourbilleau, R. Rizk, “Excitable Er fraction and quenching phenomena in Er-doped SiO2 layers containing Si nanoclusters,” Phys. Rev. B 76(24), 245308 (2007). [CrossRef]
  20. F. Lenz, A. Hryciw, R. DeCorby, A. Meldrum, “Reversing the temperature dependence of the sensitized Er3+ luminescence intensity,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 95(9), 091909 (2009). [CrossRef]
  21. F. Rebib, E. Tomasella, M. Dubois, J. Cellier, T. Sauvage, M. Jacquet, “Structural and optical investigations of SiOxNy thin films deposited by R.F. sputtering,” Surf. Coat. Tech. 200(1–4), 330–333 (2005). [CrossRef]
  22. K. Hijazi, R. Rizk, J. Cardin, L. Khomenkova, F. Gourbilleau, “Towards an optimum coupling between Er ions and Si-based sensitizers for integrated active photonics,” J. Appl. Phys. 106(2), 024311 (2009). [CrossRef]
  23. E. Steveler, H. Rinnert, X. Devaux, M. Dossot, M. Vergnat, “Indirect excitation of Er3+ ions in silicon nitride films prepared by reactive evaporation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 97(22), 221902 (2010). [CrossRef]
  24. N. Prtljaga, D. Navarro-Urrios, A. Tengattini, A. Anopchenko, J. M. Ramírez, J. M. Rebled, S. Estradé, J. P. Colonna, J. M. Fedeli, B. Garrido, L. Pavesi, “Limit to the erbium ions emission in silicon-rich oxide films by erbium ion clustering,” Opt. Mater. Express 2(9), 1278–1285 (2012). [CrossRef]
  25. O. Savchyn, P. G. Kik, R. M. Todi, K. R. Coffey, “Effect of hydrogen passivation on luminescence-center-mediated Er excitation in Si-rich SiO2 with and without Si nanocrystals,” Phys. Rev. B 77(20), 205438 (2008). [CrossRef]

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