Recently, surface plasmon (SP)-exciton coupling has been wildly applied in nitride semiconductors in order to improve the spontaneous radiative recombination rate [1-3]. However, most works have been focused on the emission enhancement in InGaN-based blue or green light emitting diodes (LEDs). Practically, it is significantly important to improve the emission efficiency in deep-UV AlGaN-base quantum well (QW) structure due to its intrinsically low internal quantum efficiency (IQE) induced by the high defect density in its epitaxy layer . But, the effective SP-exciton coupling with matched energy in deep-UV region is still a challenge issue due to the lack of appropriate metal structures and compatible fabrication techniques.
In this work, the Al nanoparticles (NPs) were introduced by the nanosphere lithography (NSL) and deposition techniques into the AlGaN based MQWs with optimized size and structure. Due to the local surface plasmon (LSP) coupling with the excitons in QWs, emission enhancement in deep UV region has been achieved in the Al NPs decorated AlGaN MQWs structure with comparison to the bare MQWs. Theoretical calculations on the energy subbands of AlGaN QWs were further carried out to investigate the corresponding mechanisms, in which the hot carrier transition activated by SP-exciton coupling was believed to be mainly responsible for the enhancement. This work demonstrated a low cost, wafer scale fabrication process, which can be potentially employed to the practical SP-enhanced AlGaN-based deep UV LEDs with high IQEs.