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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
Publication date: 
8 Apr 2013
Biblio References: 
Volume: 21 Issue: 7 Pages: 8240-8250
Optics express