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Active and Passive Electronic Components
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 52461, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2007/52461
Research Article

Compact Optical Waveguides Based on Hybrid Index and Surface-Plasmon-Polariton Guidance Mechanisms

Department of Microelectronics and Applied Physics, Royal Institute of Technology, Electrum 229, Kista 16440, Sweden

Received 13 October 2007; Accepted 9 November 2007

Academic Editor: Yalin Lu

Copyright © 2007 Min Yan and Min Qiu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Surface-plasmon-polariton (SPP) waveguides made of materials available in nature have, in general, been found to suffer from very high absorption loss when light confinement is beyond diffraction limit. In this paper, the possibility of combining both the conventional index-guiding and the SPP-guiding mechanisms together into one single waveguide is being explored. Such waveguides, expectedly, inherent the low-loss feature of all-dielectric waveguides as well as the superior mode field confinement possessed by SPP waveguides. By using experimentally ready materials, it is theoretically shown that compact metallodielectric waveguides can be designed with a 500×500nm2 core size around the 1550 nm telecommunication wavelength. The examined waveguides can be interpreted as a gap SPP waveguide with an inner dielectric core. Compared to pure SPP waveguides, such hybrid waveguides have a comparable mode field size, but with significantly lower loss (0.05dB/μm for either quasi-TE or quasi-TM operation). Therefore they can be potentially deployed for a range of integrated photonic applications.