Subwavelength plasmonic waveguides are the most promising candidates for developing planar photonic circuitry platforms. In this study a subwavelength metallic ridge waveguide is numerically and experimentally investigated. Differing from previous plasmonic waveguides, the metallic strip of the subwavelength ridge waveguide is placed on a thick metal film. It is found that the surface-plasmon-polariton (SPP) waveguide modes result from the coupling of the corner modes in the two ridge corners. The bottom metal film has a great influence on the SPP modes, and nearly all the evanescent fields of the SPP modes are tightly confined outside the ridge waveguide. Simulations show that 50% of the total power flow in the SPP mode can be confined outside the ridge waveguide with an area of only about λ 2/20. The propagation length is still about 10 times the plasmon wavelength. Through comparison with a metallic strip placed directly on the dielectric substrate, the proposed ridge waveguide exhibits a much higher sensing performance. This plasmonic ridge waveguide with deep-subwavelength outside-field confinements is of significance in a range of nano-optics applications, especially in nanosensing.
Directional light scattering is important in basic research and real applications. This area has been successfully downscaled to wavelength and subwavelength scales With the development of optical antennas, especially single-element nano-antennas. Here, by adding an auxiliary resonant structure to a single-element plasmonic nanoantenna, we show that the highly efficient lowest-order antenna mode can be effectively transferred into inactive higher-order modes. On the basis of this mode conversion, scattered optical fields can be well manipulated by utilizing the interference between different antenna modes. Both broadband directional excitation of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) and inversion of SPP launching direction at different wavelengths are experimentally demonstrated as typical examples. The proposed strategy based on mode conversion and mode interference provides new opportunities for the design of nanoscale optical devices, especially directional nanoantennas.
Colloidal CdS nanorods similar to 4.9 nm in diameter and similar to 60 nm long were positioned in gold bow-tie electrodes with a gap of similar to 50 nm by an AC dielectrophoresis process to construct optoelectronic devices. The fabricated devices exhibited an excellent photoresponse to white and blue light, but no response to green light. However, the response of the devices to white light could be degraded by green light. This is considered to be related to surface plasmon polaritons suppressing the generation of photo-carriers in the CdS nanorods. The results indicate that surface plasmons do not always benefit nano-optoeletronic devices. (C) 2015 The Japan Society of Applied Physics
Miniaturizing optical devices beyond the diffraction limit is of great importance for high-integration photonic circuits. By directly fabricating a double-slit aperture structure of different sizes in a subwavelength plasmonic waveguide, an ultra-small plasmonic wavelength splitter is realized experimentally. Due to the different slit widths, the surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) in the opposite directions exhibit anti-phase interferences. As a result, the SPPs excited at different wavelengths can be split to propagate in the opposite directions along the subwavelength plasmonic waveguide. The plasmonic wavelength splitter only occupies a footprint of about 1.4 mu m(2) on the metal surface, and the splitting wavelengths and their separation can be easily varied by adjusting the structural parameters. This provides it with important applications in the areas of the optical modulating, sensing, and computing networks in highly integrated plasmonic circuits. (C) 2015 Optical Society of America
Launching the free-space light to the surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) in a broad bandwidth is of importance for the future plasmonic circuits. Based on the interference of the pure SPP component, the bandwidths of the unidirectional SPP launching is difficult to be further broadened. By greatly manipulating the SPP intensities with the quasi-cylindrical waves (Quasi-CWs), an ultra-broadband unidirectional SPP launcher is experimentally realized in a submicron asymmetric slit. In the nanogroove of the asymmetric slit, the excited Quasi-CWs are not totally damped, and they can be scattered into the SPPs along the metal surface. This brings additional interference and thus greatly manipulates the SPP launching. Consequently, a broadband unidirectional SPP launcher is realized in the asymmetric slit. More importantly, it is found that this principle can be extended to the three-dimensional subwavelength plasmonic waveguide, in which the excited Quasi-CWs in the aperture could be effectively converted to the tightly guided SPP mode along the subwavelength plasmonic waveguide. In the large wavelength range from about 600 nm to 1300 nm, the SPP mode mainly propagates to one direction along the plasmonic waveguide, revealing an ultra-broad (about 700 nm) operation bandwidth of the unidirectional SPP launching.
In addition to surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs), quasi-cylindrical waves (CWs) are also important components of electromagnetic fields on metal surfaces. In this study, we present a closed-form expression for CW fields on a dielectric-film-coated metal surface. It is found that the effective refractive index of CWs roughly keeps unchanged when the coated dielectric film becomes thicker, while the effective refractive index of SPPs increases rapidly. These different responses are explained by referring to a waveguide perspective, in which the SPP and CW waves are, respectively, identified as a waveguide mode and superposition of radiation modes. The results and related analyses with the waveguide perspective explicitly show the different physical natures of SPPs and CWs. (C) 2015 Optical Society of America
Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) have sparked enormous interest on nanophotonics beyond the diffraction limit for their remarkable capabilities of subwavelength confinements and strong enhancements. Due to the inherent polarization sensitivity of the SPPs [transverse-magnetic (TM) polarization], it is a great challenge to couple the s-polarized free-space light to the SPPs. Here, an ultrasmall defect aperture (<(2)/2) is designed to directionally couple both the p- and s-polarized incident beams to the single SPP mode in a broad bandwidth, which is guided by a subwavelength plasmonic waveguide. Simulations show that hot spots emerge at the sharp corners of the defect aperture when the incident beams illuminate it from the back side. The strong radiative fields from the hot spots are directionally coupled to the SPP mode because of the symmetry breaking of the defect aperture. By adjusting the structural parameters, both the unidirectional and bidirectional SPP coupling from the two orthogonal linear-polarization incident beams are experimentally demonstrated. The polarization-free coupling of the SPPs is of importance in circuits for fully optical processing of information with a deep-subwavelength footprint.
A sharp trapped resonance is numerically predicted in a single metal-insulator-metal (MIM) resonator by exciting the anti-symmetric waveguide mode. This MIM resonator consists of a wide-gap MIM structure which is connected with a narrow-gap MIM waveguide. By introducing a small structural break in the plasmonic resonator, both of the symmetric and anti-symmetric waveguide modes are excited in the wide-gap MIM structure. By reducing the propagation loss as well as taking advantage of the different field distribution of the anti-symmetric waveguide mode, a strongly trapped resonance with a quality factor as high as about Q a parts per thousand 570 emerges in the MIM resonator. This quality factor is significantly greater than that of the MIM resonators based on the widely used symmetric waveguide mode, which has much longer propagation lengths. The utilization of the anti-symmetric mode in the MIM waveguide provides a new possibility for designing high-performance plasmonic devices.
Using a double-slit structure fabricated on a gold film or a subwavelength (300 nm) plasmonic waveguide, high-contrast and broadband plasmonic sensors based on the interference of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are experimentally demonstrated on chips. By adjusting the focused spot position of the p-polarized incident light on the double-slit structure to compensate for the propagation loss of the SPPs, the interfering SPPs from the two slits have nearly equal intensities. As a result, nearly completely destructive interference can be experimentally achieved in a broad bandwidth (>200 nm), revealing the robust design and fabrication of the double-slit structure. More importantly, a high sensing figure of merit (FOM*) of >1 x 10(4) RIU-1 (refractive index unit), which is much greater than the previous experimental results, is obtained at the destructive wavelength because of a high contrast ratio (C = 0.96). The high-contrast and broadband on-chip sensor fabricated on the subwavelength plasmonic waveguide may find important applications in the real-time sensing of particles and molecules.
Surface-plasmon-polariton (SPP) launchers, which can couple the free space light to the SPPs on the metal surface, are among the key elements for the plasmonic devices and nano-photonic systems. Downscaling the SPP launchers below the diffraction limit and directly delivering the SPPs to the desired subwavelength plasmonic waveguides are of importance for high-integration plasmonic circuits. By designing a submicron double-slit structure with different slit widths, an ultra-broadband (>330 nm) unidirectional SPP launcher is realized theoretically and experimentally based on the different phase delays of SPPs propagating along the metal surface and the near-field interfering effect. More importantly, the broadband and unidirectional properties of the SPP launcher are still maintained when the slit length is reduced to a subwavelength scale. This can make the launcher occupy only a very small area of
A submicron asymmetric dielectric-coated metal slit with a Fabry-Perot (FP) nano-resonator is experimentally fabricated to realize an ultra-small on-chip polarization splitter. In the hybrid plasmonic structure, both of the transverse-electric (TE) and transverse-magnetic (TM) modes can be efficiently generated on the front metal surface. Based on the quite different resonant conditions and the different field confinements of the two orthogonal polarization modes in the FP resonator, the TM and TE modes are generated to propagate in the opposite directions along the metal surface. In this device, there are no coupling waveguide regions, and the excitation and the splitting of the TE and TM modes are integrated into the same asymmetric nano-slit. This considerably shrinks the device dimension to only about 850 nm (about one wavelength). In such a submicron asymmetric slit, the measured extinction ratios for the two opposite directions can reach up to (eta(L)/eta(R))(TM) approximate to 1:14 and (eta(L)/eta(R))(TE) approximate to 11:1 at lambda = 820 nm. This on-chip submicron polarization splitter is of importance in highly integrated photonic circuits. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.
Two Fano resonances are theoretically predicted in a single defect nanocavity, consisting of a rectangular cavity with a small stub defect, side-coupled with a plasmonic waveguide. These two Fano resonances are found to originate from two different mechanisms. One is caused by the excitation of a high-order resonant mode in the rectangular cavity owing to the structural breaking, and the other is attributed to the inherent resonant mode in the small stub defect. The narrow high-order mode and inherent mode couple with the broad low-order resonant mode in the rectangular cavity, giving rise to two Fano resonances. Because of the different origins, these two Fano resonances exhibit quite different responses to the variations of the structural dimensions. This has important applications in highly sensitive and multiparameter sensing in the complicated environments. (C) 2013 Optical Society of America
By manipulating the surface-plasmon-polariton (SPP) excitation properties of two nanogrooves, we demonstrate unidirectional launching of SPPs using a groove-doublet structure both numerically and experimentally, with the groove separation being downscaled to 1/4 and even 1/8 of the wavelength. Thus, the total lateral dimension of the SPP launcher is only about 1/3 and 1/6 of the wavelength, which is truly subwavelength. The measured extinction ratio at incident wavelength of 800 nm reaches as high as 130 and 18. Such subwavelength SPP unidirectional launchers may have important applications in highly integrated plasmonic circuits. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.
Surface plasmon polariton, a kind of surface electromagnetic wave propagating along the interface between metals and dielectrics, provides an excellent platform for the realization of integrated photonic devices due to its unique properties of confining light into subwavelength scales. Our recent research progresses of nanoscale integrated photonic devices based on surface plasmon polaritons, including all-optical switches, all-optical logic discriminator, and all-optical routers, are introduced in detail.
Highly efficient plasmonic nanofocusing is numerically predicted in a single step-like microslit, which is placed on a high-index dielectric layer. Because of the high throughput of the impinging light on the wide microslit, highly efficient nanofocusing is achieved in the proposed structure based on the multimode interferences in the microslits, the constructive interference between the transmitted light and the scattered surface plasmon polaritons, and the Fabry-Perot resonator effect in the high-index dielectric layer. Compared with previous nanofocusing structures containing plenty of substructures arranged laterally, the proposed structure has a much smaller lateral dimension because of the vertical arrangement of the microslits. This is of importance for realizing densely integrated plasmonic circuits. (C) 2013 Optical Society of America
By integrating a vertical cavity into an asymmetric nanoslit, we demonstrate numerically and experimentally that such a composite cavity structure is capable of generating and splitting surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) of two different wavelengths to opposite directions. The reason is that the horizontal cavity in the upper part of the asymmetric nanoslit and the added vertical cavity can manipulate SPPs nearly independently. High splitting ratios of 1:24 and 23:1 at splitting wavelengths of 767 nm and 847 nm are numerically presented with a device lateral dimension of only 790 nm. Moreover, the splitting wavelengths can easily be tuned. (C) 2013 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4794803]
Ultra-small all-optical switches are of importance in highly integrated optical communication and computing networks. However, the weak nonlinear light-matter interactions in natural materials present an enormous challenge to realize efficiently switching for the ultra-short interaction lengths. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a submicron bidirectional all-optical plasmonic switch with an asymmetric T-shape single slit. Sharp asymmetric spectra as well as significant field enhancements (about 18 times that in the conventional slit case) occur in the symmetry-breaking structure. Consequently, both of the surface plasmon polaritons propagating in the opposite directions on the metal surface are all-optically controlled inversely at the same time with the on/off switching ratios of >6 dB for the device lateral dimension of <1 mu m. Moreover, in such a submicron structure, the coupling of free-space light and the on-chip bidirectional switching are integrated together. This submicron bidirectional all-optical switch may find important applications in the highly integrated plasmonic circuits.
The manipulation of light propagation is a basic subject in optics and has many important applications. With the development of nano-optics, this area has been downscaled to wavelength or even subwavelength scales. One of the most efficient ways to control light propagation is to exploit interference effects. Here, by manipulating the interference between two nanogrooves on a metal surface, we realize a submicron broadband surface-plasmon-polariton (SPP) unidirectional coupler. More importantly, we find an anomalous bandwidth shrinking behavior in the proposed SPP unidirectional coupler as the groove separation is down to a subwavelength scale of one-quarter of the SPP wavelength. This abnormal behavior is well explained by considering the contribution of the near-field quasi-cylindrical waves in addition to the interference of propagating SPPs and the dispersion effects of individual grooves. Such near-field effects provide new opportunities for the design of ultracompact optical devices.