Abstract

We present characteristics of very thin Au strip waveguides based on long-range surface plasmon polaritons (LR-SPPs) along thin Au strips embedded in polymers. We also report a 10 Gbps optical signal transmission via LR-SPPs with the pig-tailed Au strip waveguide at a telecommunication wavelength of 1.55 $\mu{\hbox {m}}$. We limited the thickness, width, and length up to $\sim$20nm, $\sim {\hbox {10}}\ \mu{\hbox {m}}$, and $\sim$5 cm, respectively, for practical applications. At 1.55 $\mu{\hbox {m}}$, loss properties of the Au strip waveguides were theoretically and experimentally evaluated with thickness, width and cladding material. The lowest propagation loss of $\sim$1.4dB/cm was experimentally obtained with the 14-nm-thick and 2-$\mu{\hbox {m}}$-wide Au strip. With a single-mode fiber, the lowest coupling loss of less than 0.1 dB/facet was achieved with the 14-nm-thick and 7.5-$\mu{\hbox {m}}$-wide Au strip. The lowest insertion loss was obtained 7.7dB with the 14-nm-thick, 5-$\mu{\hbox {m}}$-wide, and 1.5-cm-long Au strip. The propagation loss was improved approximately 30% for the 17-nm-thick Au strip with lowering the refractive index of the cladding polymer by 0.01. In the 10 Gbps optical signal transmission experiment, the LR-SPP waveguide exhibits an excellent eye opening and a 2.2 dB power penalty at $10^{-12}$ bit error rate. These all results indicate that the LR-SPP waveguide is a potential transmission line for optical interconnects to overcome inherent problems in electric interconnects.

© 2008 IEEE

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