The quenching of Er3+ luminescence induced by carriers in silicon nanoclusters of Er-doped silicon-rich silicon oxide (SRSO) is investigated. The dependence of Er3+ photoluminescence intensities and lifetimes upon the temperature, pump power, and the background illumination intensity shows that in SRSO, Auger-type interactions with carriers in the host matrix that can severely limit the Er3+ luminescence efficiency are greatly suppressed. The results also show that efficient optoelectronic devices using Er-doped SRSO may be feasible. (C) 1999 American Institute of Physics. [S0003-6951(99)04652-5].