5 years ago

Hot-Carrier-Mediated Photon Upconversion in Metal-Decorated Quantum Wells

Hot-Carrier-Mediated Photon Upconversion in Metal-Decorated Quantum Wells
Gururaj V. Naik, Jennifer A. Dionne, Michelle L. Solomon, Alex J. Welch, Justin A. Briggs
Manipulating the frequency of electromagnetic waves forms the core of many modern technologies, ranging from imaging and spectroscopy to radio and optical communication. The process of converting photons from higher to lower energy is easily accomplished and technologically widespread. However, upconversion, which is the process of converting lower-energy photons into higher-energy photons, is still a growing field of study with nascent applications and burgeoning interest. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a new photon upconversion technique mediated by hot carriers in plasmonic nanostructures. Hot holes and hot electrons generated via plasmon decay in illuminated metal nanoparticles are injected into an adjacent semiconductor quantum well where they radiatively recombine to emit higher-energy photons. Using GaN/InGaN quantum wells decorated with gold and silver nanoparticles, we show photon upconversion from 2.4 to 2.8 eV. The process scales linearly with illumination power and enables both geometry- and polarization-based tunability. The conversion of plasmonic losses into upconverted optical emission has the potential to impact bioimaging, on-chip wavelength conversion, and high-efficiency photovoltaics.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00900

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00900

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