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The photoluminescence from plasma etched, wedge shaped Ge-quantum dot arrays is investigated locally. The wedge geometry allows a convenient measurement of the luminescence intensity within a well defined distance from the etched side facets. A zone of reduced photoluminescence with a thickness of several hundred nanometers is detected adjacent to the etched facets due to the strong non-radiative surface recombination. Covering the surface with thin layers of aluminium oxide passivates part of the surface states leading to a reduction of the luminescence quenching zone.