Plasmonic control of light emission for enhanced efficiency and beam shaping
Dimaria, Jeffrey V.
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InGaN alloys and related quantum structures are of great technological importance for the development of visible light emitting devices, motivated by a wide range of applications, particularly solid-state lighting. The InxGa1-xN material system provides continuous emission tuning from the ultraviolet across the visible spectrum by changing the In content. InGaN/GaN quantum wells (QW) also provide an efficient medium for electroluminescence for use as light emitting diodes. It is well known, however, that increasing the In content degrades the internal quantum efficiency of these devices, particularly in the green region of the spectrum. These limitations must be overcome before efficient all-solid-state lighting can be developed beyond the blue-green region using this material system. Recently, the application of plasmonic excitations supported by metallic nanostructures has emerged as a promising approach to address this issue. In this work, metallic nanoparticles (NPs) and nanostructures that support plasmonic modes are engineered to increase the local density of states of the electromagnetic field that overlaps the QW region. This leads to an enhancement of the spontaneous emission rate of the QW region mediated by direct coupling into the plasmonic modes of the nanostructure. Energy stored in these modes can then scatter efficiently into free-space radiation, thereby enhancing the light output intensity. The first section of this thesis concerns the enhancement of InGaN/GaN QW light emission by utilizing localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) and lattice surface modes of metal NP arrays. This work comprises a detailed study of the effect of geometry variations of Ag NPs on the LSPR wavelength, and the subsequent demonstration of photoluminescence intensity enhancement by Ag NPs in the vicinity of InGaN multiple QWs. The second section of this thesis concerns the far-field control of QW emission utilizing metallic nanostructures that support plasmonic excitations. This includes a study of the dispersion and competing effects of a metallic NP-film system, and the demonstration of beam collimation and unidirectional diffraction utilizing a similar geometry. These results may find novel applications in the emerging field of solid-state smart lighting.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University