Rare-earth doped Si-rich ZnO for multiband near-infrared light emitting devices

We demonstrate a light emitting material platform based on rare-earth doping of Si-rich ZnO thin films by magnetron sputtering, and we investigate the near-infrared emission properties under both optical and electrical injection. Er and Nd radiative transitions were simultaneously activated due to energy transfer via the ZnO direct bandgap and its luminescent defect centers. Moreover, by incorporating Si atoms, we demonstrate Si-mediated enhancement of photoluminescence in Er-doped ZnO and electroluminescence. These results pave the way to novel Si-compatible light emitters that leverage the optically transparent and electrically conductive ZnO matrix for multiband near-IR telecom and bio-compatible applications.

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