Abstract

A thermally activated variable attenuator for long-range (low-loss) surface plasmon-polariton (LRSPP) waves is discussed in this paper. The surface plasmon waveguide consists of a thin Au stripe on a thick layer of SiO<sub>2</sub>, which is covered by a thick layer of index-matched polymer. The structure is optically symmetric near room temperature, supporting an LRSPP. Increased attenuation of the mode occurs upon heating of the Au stripe via the passage of current therein. Heating substantially changes the refractive index of the polymer near the stripe, rendering the structure highly optically asymmetric and cutting off the mode. Thermal modeling results that link the injected current density to the refractive-index perturbation are presented and discussed. Experimental results validate the thermal modeling and demonstrate the operation of the device at a free-space optical wavelength near 1550 nm. The resistivity of the stripe is also measured as a function of the drive current, and the simultaneous use of the stripe as a thermal monitor is discussed and demonstrated.

© 2006 IEEE

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Appl. Phys. Lett. (5)

C. Hu, M. Kiene, P. S. Ho, "Thermal conductivity and interfacial thermal resistance of polymeric low k films," Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 4121-4123 (2001).

I. Breukelaar, R. Charbonneau, P. Berini, "Long-range surface plasmon-polariton mode cutoff and radiation," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 051119 (2006).

H. S. Won, K. C. Kim, S. H. Song, C.-H. Oh, P. S. Kim, S. Park, S. I. Kim, "Vertical coupling of long-range surface plasmon polaritons," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 1-3 (2006) 011110.

T. Nikolajsen, K. Leosson, S. I. Bozhevolnyi, "Surface plasmon polariton based modulators and switches operating at telecom wavelengths," Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 5833-5835 (2004).

T. Nikolajsen, K. Leosson, I. Salakhutdinov, S. I. Bozhevolnyi, "Polymer-based surface-plasmon-polariton stripe waveguides at telecommunications wavelengths," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 668-670 (2004).

Electron. Lett. (1)

S. Park, S. H. Song, "Polymeric variable optical attenuator based on long range surface plasmon polaritons," Electron. Lett. 42, 402-404 (2006).

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. (2)

Y. Hida, H. Onose, S. Imamura, "Polymer waveguide thermooptic switch with low electric power consumption at 1.3 µm," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 5, 782-784 (1993).

E. Flück, F. Horst, B. J. Offrein, R. Germann, H. W. M. Salemink, G.-L. Bona, "Compact versatile thermooptical space switch based on beam steering by a waveguide array," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 11, 1399-1401 (1999).

IEEE Trans. Electron Devices (1)

M. B. Kleiner, S. A. Kühn, W. Weber, "Thermal conductivity measurements of thin silicon dioxide films in integrated circuits," IEEE Trans. Electron Devices 43, 1602-1609 (1996).

Infrared Phys. (1)

C. Reale, "Optical constants of vacuum deposited thin metal films in the near infrared," Infrared Phys. 10, 175-181 (1970).

J. Appl. Phys. (5)

P. Berini, R. Charbonneau, N. Lahoud, G. Mattiussi, "Characterization of long-range surface-plasmon-polariton waveguides," J. Appl. Phys. 98, 1-12 (2005) 043109.

S. A. Maier, H. A. Atwater, "Plasmonics: Localization and guiding of electromagnetic energy in metal/dielectric structures," J. Appl. Phys. 98, 011101 (2005).

J. Hartmann, P. Voigt, M. Reichling, "Measuring local thermal conductivity in polycrystalline diamond with a high resolution photothermal microscope," J. Appl. Phys. 81, 2966-2972 (1997).

M. Paniccia, P. Flynn, R. Reifenberger, "Scanning probe microscopy studies of electromigration in electroplated Au wires," J. Appl. Phys. 73, 8189-8197 (1993).

A. S. Oates, "Electromigration transport mechanisms in Al thin-film conductiors," J. Appl. Phys. 79, 163-169 (1996).

J. Lightw. Technol. (3)

A. Boltasseva, T. Nikolajsen, K. Leosson, K. Kjaer, M. S. Larsen, S. I. Bozhevolnyi, "Integrated optical components utilizing long-range surface plasmon polaritons," J. Lightw. Technol. 23, 413-422 (2005).

R. Charbonneau, C. Scales, I. Breukelaar, S. Fafard, N. Lahoud, G. Mattiussi, P. Berini, "Passive integrated optics elements based on long-range surface plasmon polaritons," J. Lightw. Technol. 24, 477-494 (2006).

S.-S. Lee, Y.-S. Jin, Y.-S. Son, "Variable optical attenuator based on a cutoff modulator with tapered waveguides in polymers," J. Lightw. Technol. 17, 2556-2561 (1999).

Nature (1)

W. L. Barnes, A. Dereux, T. W. Ebbesen, "Surface plasmon sub-wavelength optics," Nature 424, 824-830 (2003).

Opt. Commun. (2)

S. I. Bozhevolnyi, T. Nikolajsen, K. Leosson, "Integrated power monitor for long-range surface plasmon polaritons," Opt. Commun. 255, 51-56 (2005).

T. Nikolajsen, K. Leosson, S. I. Bozhevolnyi, "In-line extinction modulator based on long-range surface plasmon polaritons," Opt. Commun. 244, 455-459 (2005).

Opt. Express (3)

Opt. Lett. (1)

Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A (1)

J. R. Krenn, J.-C. Weeber, "Surface plasmon polaritons in metal stripes and wires," Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A 362, 739-756 (2004).

Phys. Rev. B, Condens. Matter (2)

P. Berini, "Plasmon-polariton waves guided by thin lossy metal films of finite width: Bound modes of symmetric structures," Phys. Rev. B, Condens. Matter 61, 10484-10503 (2000).

P. Berini, "Plasmon-polariton waves guided by thin lossy metal films of finite width: Bound modes of asymmetric structures," Phys. Rev. B, Condens. Matter 63, 1-15 (2001) 125417.

Thin Solid Films (1)

J. R. Sambles, "The resistivity of thin metal films—Some critical remarks," Thin Solid Films 106, 321-331 (1983).

Trans. IEICE (1)

A. Sugita, K. Jinguji, N. Takato, K. Katoh, M. Kawachi, "Bridge-suspended silica-waveguide thermo-optic phase shifter and its application to Mach–Zehnder type optical switch," Trans. IEICE E73, 105-108 (1990).

Other (7)

G. Gagnon, Thermo-optic variable optical attenuators using plasmon polariton waveguides M.A.Sc. Thesis Univ. Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada, 2004.

E. D. Palik, G. Ghosh, Electronic Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic, 1999).

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 64th CRC (1984), Boca Raton, FL F-125.

F. P. Incropera, D. P. Dewitt, Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer (Wiley, 1996).

J. D. Kraus, Electromagnetics (McGraw-Hill, 1984).

OCK-433 Curing Optical gel (Nye Lubricants, 2005).

Material Property Database (MPDB) Software, North Reading, MA: JAHM Software. [Online]. Available: www.jahm.com

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