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Plasmonics for Laser Beam Shaping

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11 Author(s)
Nanfang Yu ; Sch. of Eng. & Appl. Sci., Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Blanchard, R. ; Fan, J. ; Qi Jie Wang
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This paper reviews our recent work on laser beam shaping using plasmonics. We demonstrated that by integrating properly designed plasmonic structures onto the facet of semiconductor lasers, their divergence angle can be dramatically reduced by more than one orders of magnitude, down to a few degrees. A plasmonic collimator consisting of a slit aperture and an adjacent 1-D grating can collimate laser light in the laser polarization direction; a collimator consisting of a rectangular aperture and a concentric ring grating can reduce the beam divergence both perpendicular and parallel to the laser polarization direction, thus achieving collimation in the plane perpendicular to the laser beam. The devices integrated with plasmonic collimators preserve good room-temperature performance with output power comparable to that of the original unpatterned lasers. A collimator design for one wavelength can be scaled to adapt to other wavelengths ranging from the visible to the far-IR regimes. Plasmonic collimation offers a compact and integrated solution to the problem of laser beam collimation and may have a large impact on applications such as free-space optical communication, pointing, and light detection and ranging. This paper opens up major opportunities in wavefront engineering using plasmonic structures.

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Nanotechnology, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 1 )