Erbium-substituted Srl-xErxF2+x strontium fluoride layers were grown on InP(100) substrates by sublimation under ultra-high vacuum of high purity solid solution powders.
Their composition and the spatial distribution of the basic components were deduced from Rutherford backscattering (RBS), using a nuclear microprobe, and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). For x lower than 20% it is shown that the film composition is analogous with the initial sintered material and quite homogeneous. The ageing in air of the films was followed by infrared absorption studies. No significant water adsorption was revealed.
The texture of the layers was studied by RBS in channelling condition. For x as high as 15% it is shown that the films are well crystallized and well epitaxially grown on InP (100) substrates.
Infrared emission due to the 4I13/2-4I15/2 electronic transition on the 4f11 inner shells of Er3+ ions (1.53μm), which presents potential applications for optical communications, was studied at room temperature as a function of x. It is demonstrated that the highest luminescence efficiency of these layers corresponds to x upper than 20%.