NIR luminescent Er3+/Yb3+ co-doped SiO2-ZrO2 nanostructured planar and channel waveguides: Optical and structural properties
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Optical and structural properties of planar and channel waveguides based on sol gel Er3+ and Yb3+ co-doped SiO2-ZrO2 are reported. Microstructured channels with high homogeneous surface profile were written onto the surface of multilayered densified films deposited on SiO2/Si substrates by a femtosecond laser etching technique. The densification of the planar waveguides was evaluated from changes in the refractive index and thickness, with full densification being achieved at 900 degrees C after annealing from 23 up to 500 min, depending on the ZrO2 content Crystal nucleation and growth took place together with densification, thereby producing transparent glass ceramic planar waveguides containing rare earth-doped ZrO2 nanocrystals dispersed in a silica-based glassy host Low roughness and crack-free surface as well as high confinement coefficient were achieved for all the compositions. Enhanced NIR luminescence of the Er3+ ions was observed for the Yb3+- codoped planar waveguides, denoting an efficient energy transfer from the Yb3+ to the Er3+ ion. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.