We have fabricated Si:Er films by ion implantation and ultra-high vacuum chemical vapor deposition (UHV-CVD). The energy of the ion implantation was varied from 200 keV to 4.5 MeV. Oxygen was co-implanted to overlap the erbium profile. At implant energies of 400 keV, we found that the luminescence was optimized at a lower annealing temperature (800° C, 30 minutes) than that needed for the 4.5 MeV implant (900°C, 30 minutes). The light intensity per erbium atom is critically dependent on the implantation energy. However, spreading resistance measurements show that the donor activity of the implanted erbium is independent of energy. We have correlated the donor activity with quantum efficiency by varying the donor spatial distribution and concentration through post implantation heat treatments.
For the UHV-CVD grown Si:Er films, two erbium metallorganic precursors, Er(TMHD)3 and Er(FOD)3. have been used for growths from 550–620°C. The thickness of the erbium layers are similar to that of implanted devices but the Er concentration of 4 × 1021/cm3 exceeded the implanted material by two orders of magnitude.