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Materials 2014, 7(3), 1539-1554; doi:10.3390/ma7031539
Article

Erbium-Doped Amorphous Carbon-Based Thin Films: A Photonic Material Prepared by Low-Temperature RF-PEMOCVD

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1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G4, Canada 2 Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan 3 Department of Electrophysics, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan 4 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung 84001, Taiwan 5 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3E4, Canada
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 November 2013 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
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Abstract

The integration of photonic materials into CMOS processing involves the use of new materials. A simple one-step metal-organic radio frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition system (RF-PEMOCVD) was deployed to grow erbium-doped amorphous carbon thin films (a-C:(Er)) on Si substrates at low temperatures (<200 °C). A partially fluorinated metal-organic compound, tris(6,6,7,7,8,8,8-heptafluoro-2,2-dimethyl-3,5- octanedionate) Erbium(+III) or abbreviated Er(fod)3, was incorporated in situ into a-C based host. Six-fold enhancement of Er room-temperature photoluminescence at 1.54 µm was demonstrated by deuteration of the a-C host. Furthermore, the effect of RF power and substrate temperature on the photoluminescence of a-C:D(Er) films was investigated and analyzed in terms of the film structure. Photoluminescence signal increases with increasing RF power, which is the result of an increase in [O]/[Er] ratio and the respective erbium-oxygen coordination number. Moreover, photoluminescence intensity decreases with increasing substrate temperature, which is attributed to an increased desorption rate or a lower sticking coefficient of the fluorinated fragments during film growth and hence [Er] decreases. In addition, it is observed that Er concentration quenching begins at ~2.2 at% and continues to increase until 5.5 at% in the studied a-C:D(Er) matrix. This technique provides the capability of doping Er in a vertically uniform profile.
Keywords: RF-PEMOCVD; erbium metal-organic compound; deuterated amorphous carbon (a-C:D); fluorination RF-PEMOCVD; erbium metal-organic compound; deuterated amorphous carbon (a-C:D); fluorination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Hsu, H.-L.; Leong, K.R.; Teng, I.-J.; Halamicek, M.; Juang, J.-Y.; Jian, S.-R.; Qian, L.; Kherani, N.P. Erbium-Doped Amorphous Carbon-Based Thin Films: A Photonic Material Prepared by Low-Temperature RF-PEMOCVD. Materials 2014, 7, 1539-1554.

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