Abstract

The potential of Ge nanoparticles (NPs) embedded in Al2O3 with tunable effective optical bandgap values in the range of 1.0–3.3 eV to induce enhanced Er3+ light emission is investigated. We demonstrate nonresonant indirect excitation of the Er3+ ions mediated by the Ge NPs at room temperature. Efficient Er3+ light emission enhancement is obtained for Ge NPs with large effective optical bandgaps in the range of 1.85 to 2.8 eV. The coupled Ge NP–Er emission shows a negligible thermal quenching from 10 K to room temperature that is related to Er3+ de-excitation through thermally activated defect states.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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