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A compact interferometric sensor design using three waveguide coupling

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3 Author(s)
Vernon, K.C. ; CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Private Bag 33, Clayton South, Victoria 3169, Australia ; Gomez, D.E. ; Davis, T.J.

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The use of metal stripes for the guiding of plasmons is a well established technique for the infrared regime and has resulted in the development of a myriad of passive optical components and sensing devices. However, the plasmons suffer from large losses around sharp bends, making the compact design of nanoscale sensors and circuits problematic. A compact alternative would be to use evanescent coupling between two sufficiently close stripes, and thus we propose a compact interferometer design using evanescent coupling. The sensitivity of the design is compared with that achieved using a hand-held sensor based on the Kretschmann style surface plasmon resonance technique. Modeling of the new interferometric sensor is performed for various structural parameters using finite-difference time-domain and COMSOL Multiphysics. The physical mechanisms behind the coupling and propagation of plasmons in this structure are explained in terms of the allowed modes in each section of the device.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:106 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

Nov 2009

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