Scandium effect on the luminescence of Er-Sc silicates prepared from multi-nanolayer films

Adel Najar, Hiroo Omi, Takehiko Tawara

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Polycrystalline Er-Sc silicates (ErxSc2-xSi2O7 and ErxSc2-xSiO5) were fabricated using multilayer nanostructured films of Er2O3/SiO2/Sc2O3 deposited on SiO2/Si substrates by RF sputtering and thermal annealing at high temperature. The films were characterized by synchrotron radiation grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and micro-photoluminescence measurements. The Er-Sc silicate phase ErxSc2-xSi2O7 is the dominant film, and Er and Sc are homogeneously distributed after thermal treatment because of the excess of oxygen from SiO2 interlayers. The Er concentration of 6.7 × 1021 atoms/cm3 was achieved due to the presence of Sc that dilutes the Er concentration and generates concentration quenching. During silicate formation, the erbium diffusion coefficient in the silicate phase is estimated to be 1 × 10-15 cm2/s at 1,250°C. The dominant ErxSc2 - xSi2O7 layer shows a room-temperature photoluminescence peak at 1,537 nm with the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 1.6 nm. The peak emission shift compared to that of the Y-Er silicate (where Y and Er have almost the same ionic radii) and the narrow FWHM are due to the small ionic radii of Sc3+ which enhance the crystal field strength affecting the optical properties of Er3+ ions located at the well-defined lattice sites of the Sc silicate. The Er-Sc silicate with narrow FWHM opens a promising way to prepare photonic crystal light-emitting devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number356
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalNanoscale Research Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Photoluminescence
  • Rare-earth doping
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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