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Title: Compact nanomechanical plasmonic phase modulators [Ultracompact nano-mechanical plasmonic phase modulators]

Highly confined optical energy in plasmonic devices is advancing miniaturization in photonics. However, for mode sizes approaching ≈10 nm, the energy increasingly shifts into the metal, raising losses and hindering active phase modulation. Here, we propose a nanoelectromechanical phase-modulation principle exploiting the extraordinarily strong dependence of the phase velocity of metal–insulator–metal gap plasmons on dynamically variable gap size. We experimentally demonstrate a 23-μm-long non-resonant modulator having a 1.5π rad range, with 1.7 dB excess loss at 780 nm. Analysis shows that by simultaneously decreasing the gap, length and width, an ultracompact-footprint π rad phase modulator can be realized. This is achieved without incurring the extra loss expected for plasmons confined in a decreasing gap, because the increasing phase-modulation strength from a narrowing gap offsets rising propagation losses. Here, such small, high-density electrically controllable components may find applications in optical switch fabrics and reconfigurable plasmonic optics.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Rutgers, the State Univ. of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ (United States)
  2. Univ. of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado, Springs, CO (United States)
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  4. National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1239326
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Photonics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1749-4885
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS