Compact plasmonic variable optical attenuator

Kristjan Leosson, Tiberiu Rosenzveig, Pétur Gordon Hermannsson, Alexandra Boltasseva

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


We demonstrate plasmonic nanowire-based thermo-optic variable optical attenuators operating in the 1525-1625 nm wavelength range. The devices have a footprint as low as 1 mm, extinction ratio exceeding 40 dB, driving voltage below 3 V, and full modulation bandwidth of 1 kHz. The polarization dependent loss is shown to be critically dependent on the nanowire geometry but devices with polarization-dependent loss as low as ±2.5 dB PDL over most of the attenuation range have been fabricated. We propose an even more compact device design to reduce insertion loss to approximately 1 dB.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOptics Express
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)15546-15552
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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