In this letter, we report on the characteristics of 1.54 μm photoluminescence emission of Er-doped HfO2 films synthesized by pulsed laser deposition and ion implantation. An efficient emission at 1.54 μm in the annealed HfO2 films has been observed under a broad band excitation from 400 nm to a higher energy at room temperature. X-ray diffraction and electron paramagnetic resonant measurements were used to analyze the correlation between the optical properties and microstructures. An energy transfer mechanism is proposed that the O vacancy in the bulk acts as an effective sensitizer for the neighboring Er ions and greatly enhances the 1.54 μm band emission. These results lay an important basis for the future silicon-based integrated optoelectronic device applications of Er-doped HfO2 films.