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Plasmon slot waveguides : Metal-Insulator-Metal (MIM)

Plasmon slot waveguides:

Towards chip-scale propagation with subwavelength-scale localization

J. A. Dionne,* L. A. Sweatlock, and H. A. Atwater (caltech, USA)

Phy. Rev. B, Vol.73, 035407 (2006)

Metal 2
y d Insulator 1

Metal 2
Metal 2
y d Insulator 1

Metal 2

E ( Ex , 0, Ez ) B (0, By , 0)

E (0, E y , 0) B ( Bx , 0, Bz )
Mode L+
Mode L-
Tangential (Ex)
Electric Field Profiles

(TM modes)
(infinite d) ab : antisymmetric bound

Tangential (Ex)
Electric Field Profiles

sb : Symmetric bound

(infinite d)
d = 250 nm

Metal 2 d = 100 nm
x d Insulator 1
Metal 2
(infinite d)
ab sb
D = 250 nm

(infinite d)

SP modes

waveguide modes
In SiO2 core

SP modes
D = 100 nm

(infinite d)


waveguide modes
within E ~ 1 eV

SP modes
sb SP : D = 50 nm 30 nm 25 nm 12 nm

Metal 2
y d Insulator 1

Metal 2

The dispersion of the 50-nm-thick sample lies completely to the left of the decoupled SP mode.
Low-energy asymptotic behavior follows a light line of n = 1.5.
It suggests that polariton modes of MIM more highly sample the imaginary dielectric component.
In the low energy limit, the Sb SP truly represent a photon trapped on the metal surface.
ab SP : D = 50 nm 30 nm 25 nm 12 nm

Purely plasmonic nature of the mode

The cutoff frequencies remains essentially unchanged, possibly by the Goos-Hanchen effect.
As waveguide dimensions are decreased, energy densities are more highly concentrated at
the metal surface. This enhanced field magnifies Goss-Hanchen contributions significantly.
In the limit of d << s (skin depth), complete SP dephasing could result.
MIM (Ag/SiO2/Ag) TM-polarized propagation and skin depth ( D = 250 nm )

Forbidden band

80 m
(infinite d)

sb 15 m

20 nm

Note that only a slight relation correlation between propagation distance and skin depth ().

The metal absorption is not the limiting loss mechanism in MIM structures.
MIM (Ag/SiO2/Ag) TM-polarized propagation and skin depth
( D = 12 nm, 20 nm, 35 nm, 50 nm, and 100 nm )

ab sb

~ 20 nm

Evanescent within 10 nm
Approximately constant in the Ag cladding. for all wavelength
Thus, MIM can achieve micron-scale propagation
with nanometer-scale confinement.

Local minima corresponding to the transition

between quasibound modes and radiation modes

Unlike IMI, extinction (prop. distance) is determined not by ohmic loss (metal absorption)
but by field interference upon phase shifts induced by the metal.
TE modes in MIM structures

(~ 4 eV: ~300 nm)

EM energy density profiles of MIM structures (Ag/SiO2/Ag)

d = 250 nm d = 100 nm
Geometries and materials
for subwavelength surface plasmon modes
Rashid Zia, Mark D. Selker, Peter B. Catrysse, and Mark L. Brongersma

J. Opt. Soc. Am. A/Vol. 21, No. 12/December 2004, 2442-2446.

We demonstrate that, to achieve subwavelength pitches,

a metalinsulatormetal geometry is required
with higher confinement factors and smaller spatial extent
than conventional insulatormetalinsulator structures.
The resulting trade-off between propagation and confinement
for surface plasmons is discussed,
and optimization by materials selection is described.
Consider the isotropic wave equation for
a generic three-layer plasmonic slab waveguide with metallic and dielectric regions,

where z is the propagation direction and thus kz is the conserved quantity.

For a guided surface-plasmon mode to exist,

If the radiation is unconfined in the y dimension (i.e., k y = 0),

Ultimate confinement of the IMI structure is limited by the decay length into the
dielectric cladding. For confinement below the limit of a conventional dielectric
waveguide (/2n),

2x (1/kx,dielectric ) < (/2n)

Note that this condition is met only near the surface plasmon resonance frequency.

Confinement of the MIM structure is limited by the decay length into the metallic regions,
which can be approximated as follows for metals below the surface-plasmon resonance:

1/ 2

k x ,metal d
1/ 2

c metal d c
Power confinement factor ()
of field-symmetric TM modes
- MIM and IMI plasmonic waveguides -
(Auair, = 1.55 m)



If plasmonic waveguides are intended to propagate light in subwavelength modes,

MIM geometries with higher confinement factors and shorter spatial extents are
much better suited for this purpose.
2007/5/1 ~

an optical range resonator based on single mode metal-insulator-metal plasmonic gap waveguides.
A small bridge between the resonator and the input waveguide can be used to tune the resonance frequency.

FDTD with the perfectly matched layer boundary conditions