Towards CMOS-compatible nanophotonics: Ultra-compact modulators using alternative plasmonic materials

Viktoriia Babicheva, Nathaniel Kinsey, Gururaj V. Naik, Marcello Ferrera, Andrei Lavrinenko, Vladimir M. Shalaev, Alexandra Boltasseva

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We propose several planar layouts of ultra-compact plasmonic modulators that utilize alternative plasmonic materials such as transparent conducting oxides and titanium nitride. The modulation is achieved by tuning the carrier concentration in a transparent conducting oxide layer into and out of the plasmon resonance with an applied electric field. The resonance significantly increases the absorption coefficient of the modulator, which enables larger modulation depth. We show that an extinction ratio of 46 dB/x00B5;m can be achieved, allowing for a 3-dB modulation depth in much less than one micron at the telecommunication wavelength. Our multilayer structures can be integrated with existing plasmonic and photonic waveguides as well as novel semiconductor-based hybrid photonic/electronic circuits.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOptics Express
Issue number22
Pages (from-to)27326-27337
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

This paper was published in Optics Express and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.


  • Waveguides
  • Surface plasmons
  • Waveguide modulators
  • Plasmonics
  • Modulators

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