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Ceriumdoped SiOthin films fabricated by evaporation and containing silicon nanocrystals were investigated by atom probe tomography. The effect of post-growth annealing treatment has been systematically studied to correlate the structuralproperties obtained by atom probe tomography to the optical properties measured by photoluminescence spectroscopy. The atom probe results demonstrated the formation of Ce-Si rich clusters upon annealing at 900 °C which leads to a drastic decrease of the Ce-related luminescence. At 1100 °C, pure Si nanocrystals and optically active cerium silicate compounds are formed. Consequently, the Ce-related luminescence is found to re-appear at this temperature while no Si-nanocrystal related luminescence is observed for films containing more than 3% Ce.


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