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Nanoscale. 2013 Sep 21;5(18):8634-9. doi: 10.1039/c3nr02844e.

Enhanced ultraviolet emission and improved spatial distribution uniformity of ZnO nanorod array light-emitting diodes via Ag nanoparticles decoration.

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  • 1Center for Advanced Optoelectronic Functional Materials Research, and Key Laboratory for UV Light-Emitting Materials and Technology of Ministry of Education, Northeast Normal University, 5268 Renmin Street, Changchun 130024, People's Republic of China.


Localized surface plasmon (LSP) enhanced ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were fabricated by embedding a ZnO nanorod array/p-GaN film heterostructure into a Ag-nanoparticles/PMMA composite. By optimizing the concentration of Ag nanoparticles in PMMA, two distinct changes in electroluminescence (EL) spectra were observed: (1) the UV EL component from ZnO excitons was selectively enhanced more than 13-fold and the entire spectral lineshape was changed and (2) the spatial uniformity of the output photon intensity was improved and the linewidth of an angular distribution curve was increased by ∼2 times. These observations can be attributed to near-field optical coupling between Ag LSPs and ZnO excitons. Time-resolved luminescence measurements and a model calculation reveal that the optical coupling results in the increase of the spontaneous emission rate and internal quantum efficiency of Ag-nanoparticles-decorated ZnO nanorod arrays. Moreover, the LSP-exciton interaction allows the device's EL to be coupled out of the nanorod waveguide and to be isotropically scattered into every direction, thus broadening the angular distribution of the EL intensity.

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