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Silicon-Based Plasmonics for On-Chip Photonics

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5 Author(s)
Dionne, J.A. ; Univ. of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA ; Sweatlock, Luke A. ; Sheldon, M.T. ; Alivisatos, A.Paul
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Silicon-based photonic devices dissipate substantially less power and provide a significantly greater information bandwidth than electronic components. Unfortunately, large-scale integration of photonic devices has been limited by their large, wavelength-scale size and the weak optical response of Si. Surface plasmons may overcome these two limitations. Combining the high localization of electronic waves with the propagation properties of optical waves, plasmons can achieve extremely small mode wavelengths and large local electromagnetic field intensities. Si-based plasmonics has the potential to not only reduce the size of photonic components to deeply subwavelength scales, but also to enhance the emission, detection, and manipulation of optical signals in Si. In this paper, we discuss recent advances in Si-based plasmonics, including subwavelength interconnects, modulators, and emission sources. From scales spanning slab waveguides to single nanocrystals, we show that Si-based plasmonics can enable optical functionality competitive in size and speed with contemporary electronic components.

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Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 1 )