High-efficiency light emission by means of exciton–surface-plasmon coupling

Koichi Okamoto, Mitsuru Funato, Yoichi Kawakami, Kaoru Tamada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Coupling between surface plasmons (SPs) and excitons can be used to enhance the emission efficiencies of light-emitting materials and devices. This approach had been theoretically predicted and, in 2004, was experimentally demonstrated by our group for enhancing the visible emission from InGaN/GaN quantum wells (QWs). Exciton–SP coupling increases the spontaneous emission rates of the excited states, causes a relative reduction in nonradiative relaxation, and ultimately increases the internal quantum efficiencies (IQEs) of such devices. Here, we present a brief history of the increases in emission efficiency that have been achieved and the underlying mechanism thereof. This method has the potential to enable the development of high-efficiency light-emitting diodes (LEDs), eventually leading to the replacement of fluorescent lights with solid-state light sources. After the initial discovery of this phenomenon, many device structures were proposed and reported; however, their emission efficiencies have thus far remained insufficient for practical application. Here, we also present recent progress on device applications and the current problems that must be solved. Finally, we explain the future possibilities regarding the extension of SP-enhanced light emission over a broader wavelength region, from the deep ultraviolet (UV) to the infrared (IR).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-77
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology C: Photochemistry Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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