Dielectric-loaded plasmonic waveguide components: Going practical
Ashwani Kumar, Jacek Gosciniak, Valentyn S. Volkov, Sotirios Papaioannou, Dimitrios Kalavrouziotis, Konstantinos Vyrsokinos, Jean-Claude Weeber, Karim Hassan, Laurent Markey, Alain Dereux, Tolga Tekin, Michael Waldow, Dimitrios Apostolopoulos, Hercules Avramopoulos, Nikos Pleros and Sergey I. Bozhevolnyi
Article first published online: 25 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/lpor.201200113
Surface plasmon propagating modes supported by metal/dielectric interfaces in various configurations can be used for radiation guiding similarly to conventional dielectric waveguides. Plasmonic waveguides offer two attractive features: subdiffraction mode confinement and the presence of conducting elements at the mode-field maximum. The first feature can be exploited to realize ultrahigh density of nanophotonics components, whereas the second feature enables the development of dynamic components controlling the plasmon propagation with ultralow signals, minimizing heat dissipation in switching elements. While the first feature is yet to be brought close to the domain of practical applications because of high propagation losses, the second one is already being investigated for bringing down power requirements in optical communication systems. In this review, the latest application-oriented research on radiation modulation and routing using thermo-optic dielectric-loaded plasmonic waveguide components integrated with silicon-based photonic waveguides is overviewed. Their employment under conditions of real telecommunications is addressed, highlighting challenges and perspectives.