Surface plasmon polariton amplification in metal-semiconductor structures

Laboratory of Nanooptics and Femtosecond Electronics, Department of General Physics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), 9, Institutsky lane, Dolgoprudny, 141700, Russia.
Optics Express (Impact Factor: 3.53). 06/2011; 19(13):12524-31. DOI: 10.1364/OE.19.012524
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We propose a novel scheme of surface plasmon polariton (SPP) amplification that is based on a minority carrier injection in a Schottky diode. This scheme uses compact electrical pumping instead of bulky optical pumping. Compact size and a planar structure of the proposed amplifier allow one to utilize it in integrated plasmonic circuits and couple it easily to passive plasmonic devices. Moreover, this technique can be used to obtain surface plasmon lasing.

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    ABSTRACT: Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) give an opportunity to break the diffraction limit and design nanoscale optical components, however their practical implementation is hindered by high ohmic losses in a metal. Here, we propose a novel approach for efficient SPP amplification under electrical pumping in a deep-subwavelength metal-insulator-semiconductor waveguiding geometry and numerically demonstrate full compensation for the SPP propagation losses in the infrared at an exceptionally low pump current density of 0.8 kA/cm$^2$. This value is an order of magnitude lower than in the previous studies owing to the thin insulator layer between a metal and a semiconductor, which allows injection of minority carriers and blocks majority carriers reducing the leakage current to nearly zero. The presented results provide insight into lossless SPP guiding and development of future high dense nanophotonic and optoelectronic circuits.
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May 21, 2014