T. Birr
U. Zywietz
T. Fischer
P. Chhantyal
A. B. Evlyukhin
B. N. Chichkov
C. Reinhardt

Ultrafast surface plasmon-polariton interference and switching in multiple crossing dielectric waveguides

Applied Physics B - Lasers and Optics
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
In this paper, we investigate propagation effects and interference switching of surface plasmon-polaritons (SPPs) in a junction of multiple crossed waveguides. These waveguides are produced on a thin gold layer by a simple photolithographic procedure. The waveguide dimensions are optimized for SPP excitation and propagation along two crossed input waveguides. At the waveguide intersection, different possibilities for SPP propagation into multiple output waveguides are offered. Using leakage radiation microscopy, we find that the SPPs preferably propagate into only one specific direction different from the direction of the input waveguides with avoidance of signal backscattering into the input direction. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the SPP intensity at the output waveguide can be tuned by interference effects induced by a phase shift of the excitation laser beams. Additionally, we study the influence of different angles between the two input and the one specific output waveguides of the junction structure on the propagation properties of SPP modes in order to demonstrate a highest possible energy flux into the output waveguide. The experimental investigations are supported by finite-difference time-domain simulations. Good agreement between experimental results and numerical simulations is obtained. Applications of this effect are discussed for realization of ultrafast optical/plasmonic switches and optical logic gate structures with potential for integration and cascading.