We investigate the enhanced pumping energy transfer for near-infrared photoluminescence in high-density Si nanocrystals (nc-Si) and Erbium ions co-doped SiOx film, which is obtained by RF magnetron assistant sputtering the SiO target with partially encapsulated Si and Er2O3 chips. In contrast to conventional approaches, the use of SiO instead of SiO2 or Si substrate facilitates the formation of nc-Si in the sputtered SiOx, while the Er2O3 replaces the Er pellets to improves the Er3+ concentrations and prevent the precipitation of Er atoms in the nc-Si and Er3+ co-doped SiOx film. Er3+ ion concentration up to 0.325 atomic % is obtained in the SiOx:Er3+ film under a sputtering power of 100 Watts. Correlation between annealing parameters and energy transferring from nc-Si to Er3+ ions is demonstrated, which reveals an optimized annealing condition at 1000 °C for 240 min and highest energy transfer efficiency from 760 to 1535 nm by the nc-Si with size and density of 4.5 nm and 1018 cm−3 is observed.
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