Multilayers of germanium nanocrystals (NCs) embedded in thin films of silicon nitride matrix separated with SiO2 barriers have been fabricated using plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). SiGeN/SiO2 alternating bilayers have been grown on quartz and Si substrates followed by post annealing in Ar ambient from 600 to 900 degrees C. High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) as well as Raman spectroscopy show good crystallinity of Ge confined to SiGeN layers in samples annealed at 900 degrees C. Strong compressive stress for SiGeN/SiO2 structures were observed through Raman spectroscopy. Size, as well as NC-NC distance were controlled along the growth direction for multilayer samples by varying the thickness of bilayers. Visible photoluminescence (PL) at 2.3 and 3.1 eV with NC size dependent intensity is observed and possible origin of PL is discussed. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.