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We analyze the photoluminescence (PL) in nanoporous Si (po-Si) doped with Er by electrochemical deposition and by spin-on doping. Two kinds of optically active Er centers appear in electrochemically doped po-Si with the main sharp and intense lines at 1.548 and 1.539 μm, respectively. The features characteristic for the spin-on doping method are: intense dislocation-related PL at 1.53 μm and strong luminescent activity of the silica gel used for Er doping. High-temperature PL observed up to 360 K is attributed to Er centers incorporated in the silica-like matrix at the oxidized surface of electrochemically doped po-Si and in erbium-containing silica gel. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.