The temperature dependent visible photoluminescence (PL) property of a-SiOx:H (x < 2) samples prepared in a PECVD system by using SiH4+CO2 gas mixture is investigated at a temperature range of 20 K-400 K. One of the two explicitly distinguished PL bands, with varying peak photon energies between 1.70 and 2.05 eV, can be detected at only low temperatures below 200 K, which is attributed to tail-to-tail radiative recombination. Thermal quenching parameter (T-L) of the tail-to-tail PL band is calculated as varying between 120 and 280 K as the atomic oxygen concentration (at.%) of the samples increases. Stokes shift (Delta E-Stokes) of the tail-to-tail PL band is found to change from 85 meV to 420 meV due to band tail widening. The other PL band emerges at 2.1 eV and can be detected at higher temperatures with thermal activation behavior. The activation energies calculated about room temperature vary in the range of 8 meV-50 meV with oxygen concentration. Thermal activation of the 2.1 eV PL band is attributed to the behavior of thermally activated incoherent hopping migration of electrons. These electrons combine with self trapped holes (STHs) to form self trapped excitons (STEs). STEs are localized at intrinsic defects of SiO2 structure such as oxygen vacancies (E' centers) and non-bridging oxygen hole centers (NBOHC). (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.