The 1.54 mu m Er3+ photoluminescent properties of erbium doped silicon quantum structures are investigated. First, silicon-rich-silicon-oxide, which consists of silicon nanocrystals embedded in SiO2, is doped with erbium. Second, Er is doped into Si/SiO2 superlattice films, one with erbium in Si layers and the other with erbium in SiO2 layers. We find that in both cases, excitation of Er atoms is dominated by carrier recombinations, demonstrating efficient transfer of energy from Si quantum structures to Er3+ 4f electrons over several atomic distances. Furthermore, both the intensity and the luminescence Lifetimes of Er3+ luminescence undergo very little quenching between 20 K and 300 K with lifetimes that can be as long as 7.3 msec. These results demonstrate that suppression of temperature activation of non-radiative decay paths of excited Er3+ atoms by use of quantum structures has been achieved.