A long-range surface plasmon polariton variable optical attenuator based on available nematic liquid crystals and polymers is proposed and theoretically investigated. It is demonstrated that the electro-optic control of the nematic molecular orientation is capable of tuning the level of index asymmetry of an Au stripe waveguide and the key properties of the fundamental long-range plasmonic mode, such as modal profile and propagation losses. By proper structural design and material selection, plasmonic in-line intensity modulators are designed, which exhibit very low power consumption, extinction ratios in excess of 30 dB, and insertion losses as low as 1 dB for a device length in the millimeter range. Such active plasmonic elements are envisaged to be used in interchip photonics bus interconnects.
1 Jun 2013
Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Pages: 599-604