Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 8 (2013)

Analysis of hybrid dielectric-plasmonic slot waveguide structures with 3D Fourier Modal Methods

J. Ctyroký, P. Kwiecien, I. Richter


Recently, plasmonic waveguides have been intensively studied as promising basic building blocks for the construction of extremely compact photonic devices with subwavelength characteristic dimensions. A number of different types of plasmonic waveguide structures have been recently proposed, theoretically analyzed, and their properties experimentally verified. The fundamental trade-off in the design of plasmonic waveguides for potential application in information technologies lies in the contradiction between their mode field confinement and propagation loss: the higher confinement, the higher loss, and vice versa. Various definitions of figures of merit of plasmonic waveguides have been also introduced for the characterization of their properties with a single quantity. In this contribution, we theoretically analyze one specific type of a plasmonic waveguide – the hybrid dielectric-loaded plasmonic waveguide, or – as we call it in this paper – the hybrid dielectric-plasmonic slot waveguide, which exhibits very strong field confinement combined with acceptable losses allowing their application in some integrated plasmonic devices. In contrast to the structures analyzed previously, our structure makes use of a single low-index dielectric only. We first define the effective area of this waveguide type, and using waveguide parameters close to the optimum we analyze several waveguide devices as directional couplers, multimode interference couplers (MMI), and the Mach-Zehnder interferometer based on the MMI couplers. For the full-vector 3D analysis of these structures, we use modelling tools developed in-house on the basis of the Fourier Modal Method (FMM). Our results thus serve to a dual purpose: they confirm that (i) these structures represent promising building blocks of plasmonic devices, and (ii) our FMM codes are capable of efficient 3D vector modelling of plasmonic waveguide devices.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2013.13024]

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