Abstract

In this paper, the distinctive dispersion characteristic of hybrid plasmonic waveguides is exploited for designing ultra-wideband directional couplers. It is shown that by using optimized geometrical dimensions for hybrid plasmonic waveguides, nearly wavelength-independent directional couplers can be achieved. These broadband directional couplers are then used to design Mach–Zehnder-interferometer-based switches. Our simulation results show the ultra-wide bandwidth of 260  nm for the proposed hybrid plasmonic-waveguide-based switch. Further investigation of the proposed Mach–Zehnder switch confirms that because of the strong light confinement in the hybrid plasmonic waveguide structure, the switching time, power consumption, and overall footprint of the device can be significantly improved compared to silicon-ridge-waveguide-based Mach–Zehnder switches. For the Mach–Zehnder switch designed by using the optimized directional coupler, the switching time is found to be less than one picosecond, while the power consumption, VπLπ figure of merit, and active length of the device are 61  fJ/bit, 85  V×μm, and 30 μm, respectively.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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