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.
An asymmetric T-shape nanoslit in a metal film is proposed to act as an efficient dichroic surface-plasmon-polariton (SPP) splitter, which is composed of a single nanoslit in immediate contacting with two nanogrooves with different widths. Simulations show that, due to the interferences of SPPs in the upper part of the asymmetric T-shape nanoslit, the generated SPPs propagating to the left and right directions on the front metal surface can be manipulated nearly independently by altering the right and left groove widths, respectively. Based on such effects, a dichroic SPP splitter is demonstrated and the splitting wavelengths can easily be adjusted. High splitting ratios of 31: 1 and 1: 12 at splitting wavelengths of 680 nm and 884 nm are numerically presented with a device's lateral dimension of only 1200 nm. Further experimental results match the simulations well. (C)2013 Optical Society of America
Efficient all-optical molecule-plasmon modulation is experimentally demonstrated by employing a compact T-shape single slit on a metal film coated with an azopolymer film, in which the azobenzene molecules can be reoriented by a pump beam. In the T-shape single slit, the transmission spectra exhibit periodic behaviors and are quite sensitive to variations of the refractive index of the azopolymer in the groove. Under a pump beam, the azobenzene molecules are reoriented, so the SPPs in the groove feel a refractive index quite different from that of the originally isotropic azopolymer with randomly orientations. This leads to a high modulation depth of about 53 % (3.3 dB) and a phase variation of >pi experimentally.
A compact plasmonic coupled-resonator system, consisting of a stub resonator and baffles in the metal-insulator-metal waveguide, is numerically investigated with the finite element method. Simulations show that sharp and asymmetric response line-shapes can occur in the system. The asymmetric line-shapes in the transmission spectra depend on the relative positions of the resonant wavelengths between the single-stub resonator and the inner resonator constructed by the baffle and the stub resonator, while the other part of the transmission spectra (except the asymmetric part) maintains the spectral features of the structure constructed by the baffles. An analytic model and a relative phase analysis based on the scattering matrix theory are used to describe and explain this phenomenon. These sharp and asymmetric response line-shapes are important for improving the nano-plasmonic devices' performances.
Fano resonances are numerically predicted in an ultracompact plasmonic structure, comprising a metal-isolator-metal (MIM) waveguide side-coupled with two identical stub resonators. This phenomenon can be well explained by the analytic model and the relative phase analysis based on the scattering matrix theory. In sensing applications, the sensitivity of the proposed structure is about 1.1 x 10(3) nm/RIU and its figure of merit is as high as 2 x 10(5) at lambda=980 nm, which is due to the sharp asymmetric Fano line-shape with an ultra-low transmittance at this wavelength. This plasmonic structure with such high figure of merits and footprints of only about 0.2 mu m(2) may find important applications in the on-chip nano-sensors.
Based on the strongly coupled-resonator effects, a high wavelength-resolution plasmonic Y-splitter, consisting of a Y-branch metal-insulator-metal waveguide with a baffle in each channel, is numerically investigated using the finite element method. Due to the coupling of different resonators (with nearly equal bandwidths) in the Y-splitter, sharp and asymmetric transmission spectra occur. This greatly increases the wavelength resolution of the Y-splitter to be Delta lambda a parts per thousand aEuro parts per thousand 15 nm, which is significantly narrower than the bandwidth of the single resonator (Delta lambda (FWHM) a parts per thousand aEuro parts per thousand 110 nm). An analytic model based on the scattering matrix theory is provided to describe and explain this phenomenon.
By utilizing a dielectric-film-coated asymmetric T-shape single slit, comprising two grooves of slightly detuned widths immediately contacting with a single nanoslit, the plasmon-induced transparency was experimentally demonstrated. Because of the symmetry breaking in the unit-cell structure, the scattered lights from the two grooves with slightly detuned widths interfere destructively, leading to the plasmon-induced transparency. As a result, a response spectrum with nearly the same interference contrast but a much narrower bandwidth emerges in the unit-cell structure with the footprint of only about 0.9 mu m(2), compared with that in the symmetric T-shape single slit. These pronounced features in the structure, such as the increased quality factor, ultracompact size, easy fabrication, and experimental observation, have significant applications in ultracompact plasmonic devices.
Highly efficient plasmonic nanofocusing is proposed and demonstrated in a T-shape micro-slit surrounded by multi-slits. The nanofocusing phenomenon is achieved based on the multimode interference in the micro-slit, the constructive interference in the T-shape slit, and also the multiple-beam interference of the light radiated from the multi-slits and the transmitted light from the T-shape micro-slit. Because of the large illumination areas of the incident light on the wide slit aperture in the proposed structure, a large amount of light can pass through the wide slit. This leads to a highly efficient nanofocusing. Meanwhile, the wide slit means easy fabrication. In the experiment, the focusing phenomenon in the proposed structure was successfully demonstrated with a scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) technology. (C) 2012 Optical Society of America
Multiple plasmon-induced transparencies are numerically predicted in an ultracompact plasmonic structure, comprising series of stub resonators side-coupled with a metal-isolator-metal waveguide. Because of the phase-coupled effect, electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT)-like spectral response occurs between two adjacent stub resonators with detuned resonant wavelengths. In this approach, multiple EIT-like spectral responses, with bandwidths of the order of several nanometers, are obtained in the plasmonic structure with a small footprint of about 0.6 mu m(2). An analytic model and the relative phase analysis based on the scattering matrix theory are used to explain this phenomenon. (C) 2012 Optical Society of America
The intensity distribution of light scattered by a capillary tube filled with a liquid is studied using geometrical optics or ray tracing. Several intensity step points are found in the scattering pattern due to contributions from different geometrical rays. The scattering angles of these intensity step points vary with the capillary parameters, i.e., with the inner and outer radii of the capillary wall and the refractive indices of the liquid and the wall material. The relations between the scattering angles of the step points and the capillary parameters are analyzed using the reflection law and Snell's law. A method is developed to determine the capillary parameters from measurements of the scattering angles of the step points. An experiment is designed to provide measured data from which the capillary parameters can be obtained by the proposed method. It is shown that this method provides capillary parameters of high precision. (c) 2012 Optical Society of America
Using an ultracompact groove-slit-groove (GSG) structure, a refractive index sensor with a broadband response is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. Due to the interference of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs), the transmission spectra in the GSG structure exhibit oscillation behaviors in a broad bandwidth, and they are quite sensitive to the refractive index of the surroundings. Based on the principle, the characteristics of its refractive index sensing are demonstrated experimentally. In the experiment, the structure is illuminated with a bulk light source (not a tightly focused light source) from the back side. This decreases the difficulty of the experimental measurement and can protect strong light sources from damaging the detection samples. Meanwhile, the whole structure of the sensor can be made more ultracompact without considering the influence of the incident waves.
A metal-insulator-metal vertical nanocavity is proposed to be integrated at the center of a plasmonic lens. Utilizing cavity resonance effect, the light intensity at the center of the integrated plasmonic lens gets enhancement up to 5500 times compared to that without the cavity, and the light field is tightly confined into a spot as small as 6.0 x 10(-3)lambda(2)(0). The Purcell factor of the cavity reaches up to 1400, ensuring greatly enhanced light-matter interaction inside the cavity. Moreover, the proposed structure takes advantage of linearly polarized light excitation and easy fabrication. (C) 2012 Optical Society of America
Dielectric waveguide with deep subwavelength mode confinement based on coupled semiconductor nanowires is proposed. Through the coupling between two adjacent nanowires with high refractive indexes, light can be efficiently confined in the nano-gap between the nanowires with a low refractive index. Numerical simulations indicate that the effective mode area of such a waveguide can be as small as lambda(2)(0)/200, which is one order of magnitude smaller than that of a single nanowire, and such a mode confinement is comparable to that of hybrid plasmonic waveguide. It is also shown that from the view of real applications, possible existing low refractive index oxidization layers of nanowires, low refractive index substrate and small deviation of nanowire dimensions do not have significant influence on the property of the waveguide. As the propagation length is theoretically infinite for dielectric waveguides, such a coupled nanowire waveguide with deep subwavelength mode confinement may have important applications in future integrated photonic circuits.
Using strong couplings of different Fabry-Perot (FP) resonators in metal-insulator-metal waveguides, a compact plasmonic wavelength demultiplexer is numerically demonstrated with high wavelength resolution. In the demultiplexer, it is found that new right-angle resonators emerge with bandwidth narrower than that of the isolated FP resonators. These narrowband right-angle resonators interfere with the broadband FP resonators, resulting in Fano-line shapes in the transmission spectra. Consequently, these sharp and asymmetric Fano-line shapes considerably increase the resolution of wavelength demultiplexing, which is significantly narrower than the full width of the isolated FP resonator. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
By engaging a compact asymmetric single slit coated with a photorefractive polymer, surface-plasmon-polariton (SPP) generation was efficiently controlled by a pump beam. In the structure, the nonlinear light-matter interaction is enhanced because of the cavity effect, which increases the sensitivity of SPPs to the surrounding dielectric. By variation of the real part of the refractive index together with an interferometric configuration, high on/off switching ratios are achieved. Moreover, the SPP generation and modulation processes are integrated in the same asymmetric single slit, which makes the device ultracompact. Experimentally, a high on/off switching ratio of > 20 dB and phase variation of >pi were observed with the device lateral dimension of only about 2 mu m.
A dielectric-film-coated asymmetric single nanoslit is proposed to realize broadband unidirectional generation of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs). Due to the tight field confinements by the dielectric film and the deep groove in the asymmetric single slit, the transmittance of the SPPs in the groove to the left side considerably decreases. This greatly suppresses the left-propagating SPP generation efficiency for a broad bandwidth. Meanwhile, the right-propagating SPP generation efficiency has a flat spectra range because of the low transmittance, too. So the unidirectional SPP generation with bandwidth of > 100 nm around lambda = 750 nm is experimentally achieved for the device lateral dimension of only 865 nm. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
By exciting a plasmonic lens with femtosecond laser and utilizing the optical nonlinearity of the gold, an ultrasmall and ultrafast all-optical modulation spot was achieved inside a thin gold film. Near-field pump-probe measurements indicated a modulation spot size of about 600 nm, and a response time of about 1.5 ps. Even smaller spot size of about 300 nm was inferred from numerical simulations, beyond the diffraction limit given an incident wavelength of 1000 nm. Moreover, the optical nonlinearity and the modulation depth were increased by one order of magnitude at the focus compared to that at positions without structures. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3581895]