Abstract

Nanostructured amorphous Al oxide (a-Al2O3) thin films doped with Tm3+ were synthesized by alternate pulsed laser deposition. The Tm3+ ions have been deposited in layers with in-depth separation ranging from 0.75 to 6nm. The films show two broad emission bands originated from the Tm3+H43F43 and F43H63 transitions. Their intensity increases at a similar rate and the lifetimes are not modified as the layer separation decreases down to 1.5nm, suggesting that there is no concentration quenching. At the critical value of 1.5nm the onset of Tm3+Tm3+ energy transfer is evidenced by a sharp decrease of the emission intensity and lifetime. Below this critical value, the rate at which the intensity increases for the F43H63 transition is much higher than that for the H43F43 transition, evidencing quenching of the H43F43 transition through a cross-relaxation mechanism. The control of the Tm3+ ions in the nanometer scale allows evidencing the onset of energy transfer processes among ions and offers a route to optimize compact photonic gain integrated devices.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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