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Optical Engineering

Application of highly conductive ZnO to the excitation of long-range plasmons in symmetric hybrid waveguides
Author(s): Monica S. Allen; Jeffery W. Allen; Brett R. Wenner; David C. Look; Kevin D. Leedy
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Paper Abstract

Plasmonics combines attractive features of nanoelectronics and optics enabling highly integrated, subwavelength optical and electronic circuits. The wide application of plasmonic devices hinges on practical demonstrations with low losses at optical and infrared wavelengths. In this frequency regime, noble metals suffer from large losses that are difficult to compensate by adding gain material. Transparent conducting oxides, e.g., ZnO, are good alternatives to metals for plasmonic applications in the optical regime since they exhibit high conductivity and relatively small negative real permittivity values. We study Ga-doped ZnO layers grown on Al 2 O 3 at 200°C by pulsed laser deposition in Ar ambient. The bulk electrical properties, determined by Hall effect, were ρ=2.93×10 −4   Ω-cm ; μ=25.5  cm 2 /V-s ; and [i]n=8.36×10 20   cm −3 . These values of μ and n were used to predict optical properties through the Drude dielectric function. The optical and electrical properties of the material were used to design insulator-metal-insulator (in our case, ZnO embedded in polymer) waveguides for long-range plasmons using full-wave electromagnetic models built with finite element method simulations. The models were used to predict the effect of device geometry on propagation length and losses of the plasmon mode.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 June 2013
PDF: 7 pages
Opt. Eng. 52(6) 064603 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.52.6.064603
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 52, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Monica S. Allen, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Jeffery W. Allen, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Brett R. Wenner, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
David C. Look, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Kevin D. Leedy, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

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