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Proceedings Paper

Optimization of gap plasmonic waveguides for nonlinear applications
Author(s): Christopher McMahon; Brian R. West
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Paper Abstract

Highly nonlinear waveguides are essential components for all-optical signal processing. Many promising nonlinear waveguides utilize the Kerr nonlinearity, the strength of which is determined not only by the material properties, but also by geometrical factors, quantified by the waveguide's nonlinear effective area Aeff. In an all-optical switch, the switching threshold power is proportional to Aeff, so optimization of the nonlinear waveguide is equivalent to minimization of Aeff. Recent studies have shown that dielectric slot waveguides can confine optical energy far below the diffraction limit, with nonlinear effective areas considerably less than those attainable in total internal reflection waveguides. In this work, we instead consider the use of a gap plasmonic waveguide (GPW) for deep sub-wavelength optical confinement. Using finite element methods, we compare optimized slot waveguides with GPWs of identical geometry. We show that the GPW achieves a nonlinearity more than an order of magnitude superior to the corresponding dielectric slot waveguide, and that a further optimization of the GPW is possible.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 September 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7750, Photonics North 2010, 77502L (22 September 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.872993
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher McMahon, Wilfrid Laurier Univ. (Canada)
Brian R. West, Wilfrid Laurier Univ. (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7750:
Photonics North 2010
Henry P. Schriemer; Rafael N. Kleiman, Editor(s)

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