Plasmonics: Applications to Nanoscale Terahertz and Optical Devices

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ARTICLE IN PRESS

Progress in Quantum Electronics 32 (2008) 1–41
www.elsevier.com/locate/pquantelec

Review

Plasmonics: Applications to nanoscale terahertz and
optical devices
M. Dragomana,Ã, D. Dragomanb
a

National Institute for Research and Development in Microtechnology (IMT), P.O. Box 38-160, 023573 Bucharest, Romania
b
Physics Department, University of Bucharest, P.O. Box MG-11, 077125 Bucharest, Romania

Abstract
This paper reviews the main physical aspects involved in plasmonic devices, which are considered as a route to subwavelength devices and represents one of the most studied areas of nanophotonics. The paper presents a comprehensive introduction into the various physical mechanisms that generate the surface plasmon polariton—an electromagnetic surface wave confined to the interface between a metal and a dielectric. In this context, basic applications, such as sensors or waveguides, are briefly mentioned. Then, after presenting the main mechanisms for surface plasmon generation and detection, the most important devices based on plasmons are described in detail. r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Contents
1.
2.

3.

Introduction: Why plasmonic devices? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Surface plasmon generation, propagation and conversion into light at optical wavelengths. 4 2.1. Dispersion relation of SPP at planar interfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 2.2. Localized surface plasmons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 2.3. SPP in perforated subwavelength hole arrays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Devices for THz and optics based on plasmonic concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 3.1. Plasmonics in artificial media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 3.2. Plasmonics at microwave frequencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 3.3. Plasmonics devices for optoelectronic and nanophotonics applications. . . . . . . . . . 34

ÃCorresponding author.

E-mail address: mircead.dragoman@imt.ro (M. Dragoman).
0079-6727/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.pquantelec.2007.11.001

ARTICLE IN PRESS
M. Dragoman, D. Dragoman / Progress in Quantum Electronics 32 (2008) 1–41

2

4.

Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

1. Introduction: Why plasmonic devices?
Plasmonics is a new area of research, which emerged in recent years due to the advancement of nanotechnologies and nanoelectronics. In principle, plasmonics deals with the generation, propagation and detection of plasmonic waves, which are collective electronic excitations generated by an electromagnetic field that excites a metal/dielectric interface. As a result of this interaction between matter and radiation, the electromagnetic fields are confined to the surface and propagate along the interface; they are called surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) [1,2]. Due to this field confinement and enhancement at a metal/ dielectric interface, the SPP play a key role in various areas of science, such as optics, material science, biology and very recently in nanoelectronics and nanophotonics [3]. One of the most important properties of SPP, which will be later demonstrated, is that its wavelength, denoted by lSPP, is always smaller than the electromagnetic excitation wavelength l0. In the visible and the IR optical spectrum, the plasmonic devices have dimensions in the range of 300–1000 nm. These small SPP features, comparable with those of nanoelectronics devices, such as nano-FETs, pave the way for the integration in the same chip of optical and...
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