This paper reports the incorporation of erbium into MBE Si and Si/Ge alloys with substrate temperatures of 500°C and 700°C. Using a solid source MBE system, concentrations of erbium between 1018 and 1022 cm−3 have been studied by photoluminescence, electrical measurements, SIMS and TEM. We find no shallow donors or acceptors attributable to erbium but we observe a high concentration of deep states with an activation energy of ∼360 meV. The photoluminescence output is of greatest magnitude when [Er] =2 × 1018 cm−3. Above this concentration the onset of erbium precipitates can just be observed using TEM and at even higher concentrations structured growths of erbium suicide are apparent. The effect on the optical activity of Si:Er that has subsequently been implanted with oxygen is also reported.