Erbium (Er 3+) ion has been widely used in silica fiber-based active photonic devices, given its characteristic emission around 1.5 μm. Hydrogenated and deuterated amorphous carbon (a-C:H and a-C:D, respectively), thin film materials offering tailorable opto-electronic properties, have not been explored thoroughly as host materials for Er. The objective of this research is to study the potential suitability of a-C:H and a-C:D as Er 3+ hosts for 1.54 μm light emitting applications. Erbium-doped hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H(Er)) is fabricated through controlled thermal evaporation of metal-organic compounds in a hydrocarbon discharge generated by the DC saddle-field plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition system. Er photoluminescence (PL) is successfully demonstrated for the first time in Er-doped deuterated amorphous carbon (a-C:D(Er)). Uniform distribution of optically active Er 3+ ions is attained by using tris(2,2,6,6-tetramethy1-3-5-heptanedionate)Erbium(III) (Er(thd)3) compound as revealed by XPS analysis. Er(thd)3 is observed to be a preferred dopant over Erbium(III) 2,4-pentanedionate (Er(acac)3). Deuteration of amorphous carbon has effectively removed the PL quenching effect caused by non-radiative C-H and O-H vibrational transitions. An improvement factor of ~ 4.4 is observed in the minimum doping level of Er required to attain PL in a-C:D(Er), compared to a-C:H(Er). The results of this thesis suggest that a-C:D(Er) material can potentially be used for silicon-compatible opto-electronics applications in 1.5 μm region. ii Acknowledgements First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge and thank my supervisors
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