Optical and structural properties of europium doped silicon oxide thin films

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University of New Brunswick


Rare earth doping is one of the main approaches to enhance the optical properties of silicon-based materials. In this work, a set of europium doped silicon oxide (Eu[subscript x]Si[subscript y]O[subscript z]) thin films are fabricated using an integrated magnetron sputtering electron cyclotron resonance plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (IMS-ECR-PECVD) system. The thin film composition was studied by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and elastic recoil detection (ERD) measurements verifying high control over the Eu content by changing the sputtering power. Variable Angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE) was conducted, delivering the refractive index and thickness. Using a UV laser (325 nm) excitation source, Photoluminescence (PL) measurements were performed, and it was confirmed that Eu[superscript 3+] transition which is associated with the red light emission is successfully achieved even at annealing temperatures as low as 300°C. Performing X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, the structural properties of the thin films were studied and the formation of Eu[subscript x]Si[subscript y]O[subscript z] crystals was confirmed for the samples annealed at elevated temperatures.