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Proceedings Paper

Gain-induced switching in metal-dielectric-metal plasmonic waveguides
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Paper Abstract

The authors show that the incorporation of gain media in only a selected device area can annul the effect of material loss, and enhance the performance of loss-limited plasmonic devices. In addition, they demonstrate that optical gain provides a mechanism for on/off switching in metal-dielectric-metal (MDM) plasmonic waveguides. The proposed gain-assisted plasmonic switch consists of a subwavelength MDM plasmonic waveguide side-coupled to a cavity filled with semiconductor material. In the absence of optical gain in the semiconductor material filling the cavity, an incident optical wave in the plasmonic waveguide remains essentially undisturbed by the presence of the cavity. Thus, there is almost complete transmission of the incident optical wave through the plasmonic waveguide. In contrast, in the presence of optical gain in the semiconductor material filling the cavity, the incident optical wave is completely reflected. They show that the principle of operation of such gain-assisted plasmonic devices can be explained using a temporal coupled-mode theory. They also show that the required gain coefficients are within the limits of currently available semiconductor-based optical gain media.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 February 2008
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 6896, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XII, 68960L (12 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.764052
Show Author Affiliations
Zongfu Yu, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Georgios Veronis, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Mark L. Brongersma, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Shanhui Fan, Stanford Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6896:
Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XII
Christoph M. Greiner; Christoph A. Waechter, Editor(s)

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