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Toward integrated plasmonic circuits

  • Volker J. Sorger (a1), Rupert F. Oulton (a2), Ren-Min Ma (a3) and Xiang Zhang (a4)
Abstract

Emerging telecommunication and data routing applications anticipate a photonic roadmap leading to ultra-compact photonic integrated circuits. Consequently, photonic devices will soon have to meet footprint and efficiency requirements similar to their electronic counterparts calling for extreme capabilities to create, guide, modulate, and detect deep-subwavelength optical fields. For active devices such as modulators, this means fulfilling optical switching operations within light propagation distances of just a few wavelengths. Plasmonics, or metal optics, has emerged as one potential solution for integrated on-chip circuits that can combine both high operational speeds and ultra-compact architectures rivaling electronics in both speed and critical feature sizes. This article describes the current status, challenges, and future directions of the various components required to realize plasmonic integrated circuitry.

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