A liquid-crystal tunable plasmonic optical switch based on a long-range metal stripe directional coupler is proposed and theoretically investigated. Extensive electro-optic tuning of the coupler’s characteristics is demonstrated by introducing a nematic liquid crystal layer above two coplanar plasmonic waveguides. The switching properties of the proposed plasmonic structure are investigated through rigorous liquid-crystal studies coupled with a finite-element based analysis of light propagation. A directional coupler optical switch is demonstrated, which combines very low power consumption, low operation voltages, adjustable crosstalk and coupling lengths, along with sufficiently reduced insertion losses.
Optical Society of America
8 Apr 2013
Volume: 21 Issue: 7 Pages: 8240-8250