Broadband NIR emission in novel sol-gel Er3+-doped SiO 2-Nb2O5 glass ceramic planar waveguides for photonic applications

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2013-01-01

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This paper reports on the sol-gel preparation and structural and optical characterization of new Er3+-doped SiO2-Nb 2O5 nanocomposite planar waveguides. Erbium-doped (100-x)SiO2-xNb2O5 waveguides were deposited on silica-on-silicon substrates and Si(1 0 0) by the dip-coating technique. The waveguides exhibited uniform refractive index distribution across the thickness, efficient light injection at 1538 nm, and low losses at 632 and 1538 nm. The band-gap values lied between 4.12 eV and 3.55 eV for W1-W5, respectively, showing an excellent transparency in the visible and near infrared region for the waveguides. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy analysis evidenced SiO2-Nb2O5 nanocomposite formation with controlled phase separation in the films. The HRTEM and XRD analyses revealed Nb2O5 orthorhombic T-phase nanocrystals dispersed in a silica-based host. Photoluminescence (PL) analysis showed a broad band emission at 1531 nm, assigned to the 4I13/2 → 4I15/2 transition of the Er3+ ions present in the nanocomposite, with a full-width at half medium of 48-68 nm, depending on the niobium content and annealing. Hence, these waveguides are excellent candidates for application in integrated optics, especially in EDWA and WDM devices. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Optical Materials, v. 35, n. 3, p. 387-396, 2013.

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