Nano Express

Nanoscale Research Letters

, Volume 4, Issue 7, pp 748-752

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Intense Red Catho- and Photoluminescence from 200 nm Thick Samarium Doped Amorphous AlN Thin Films

  • Muhammad MaqboolAffiliated withDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, Ball State University Email author 
  • , Tariq AliAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, State University of New York at Buffalo


Samarium (Sm) doped aluminum nitride (AlN) thin films are deposited on silicon (100) substrates at 77 K by rf magnetron sputtering method. Thick films of 200 nm are grown at 100–200 watts RF power and 5–8 m Torr nitrogen, using a metal target of Al with Sm. X-ray diffraction results show that films are amorphous. Cathodoluminescence (CL) studies are performed and four peaks are observed in Sm at 564, 600, 648, and 707 nm as a result of 4G5/2 → 6H5/2, 4G5/2 → 6H7/2, 4G5/2 → 6H9/2, and 4G5/2 → 6H11/2 transitions. Photoluminescence (PL) provides dominant peaks at 600 and 707 nm while CL gives the intense peaks at 600 nm and 648 nm, respectively. Films are thermally activated at 1,200 K for half an hour in a nitrogen atmosphere. Thermal activation enhances the intensity of luminescence.


Cathodoluminescence Photoluminescence Thermal activation XRD Samarium AlN