Structural and luminescence correlation of annealed Er-ZnO/Si thin films deposited by AACVD process

R. Elleuch, R. Salhi, N. Maalej, J. L. Deschanvres, R. Maalej

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24 Scopus citations


Er doped ZnO thin films have been synthesized from zinc acetates dihydrate (C4H6O4Zn·2H2O) and Erbium tris (2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-3,5-heptadionate) (Er(TMHD)3) by aerosol assisted chemical vapor deposition AACVD atmospheric pressure technique. Films were deposited in the temperature range of [370-500 C] on Si (1 1 1) substrate. Nano-disk shaped grains were grown on the top of the film surface. The morphology of the as-deposited films was found to be dependent on the substrate temperature. After annealing in air atmosphere, XRD patterns revealed a highly oriented c-axis Er:ZnO films with hexagonal wurtzite structure without any second phase. Under 488 nm excitation, the intra 4f-4f green emission ( 2H11/2, 4S3/24I15/2 transitions) gradually increased with increasing annealing temperature. Also, the local structure of Er changes to a pseudo-octahedral structure with C4v symmetry. The ZnO film with 2.504 at.% Er3+ doping has the best crystalline structure and the best resolved PL spectra. Using 325 nm excitation, all the samples showed an ultraviolet emission centered at 380 nm originating from a near band EDGE emission and a broad band green emission centered at 520 nm from deep levels. The optical response was correlated with crystallinity of the synthesized thin films.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1124-1129
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering B: Solid-State Materials for Advanced Technology
Issue number17
StatePublished - 2013


  • Erbium
  • Photoluminescence
  • ZnO


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