PLASMONICS

S. KRISHNA SANKER B Tech EE S7 M G College of Engineering

Abstract--- Currently, two of the most daunting problems preventing significant increases in processor speed are thermal and signal delay issues associated with electronic interconnection. Optical interconnects, on the other hand, possess an almost unimaginably large data carrying capacity, and may offer interesting new solutions for circumventing these problems. Unfortunately, their implementation is hampered by the large size mismatch between electronic and dielectric photonic components. Dielectric photonic devices are limited in size by the fundamental laws of diffraction to about half a wavelength of light and tend to be at least one or two orders of magnitude larger than their nanoscale electronic counterparts. This obvious size mismatch between electronic and photonic components presents a major challenge for interfacing these technologies. Further progress will require the development of a radically new chip- scale device technology that can facilitate information transport between nanoscale devices at optical frequencies and bridge the gap between the world of nanoscale electronics and microscale photonics. We discuss a candidate technology that has recently emerged and has been termed µplasmonics¶. This device technology exploits the unique optical properties of nanoscale metallic structures to route and manipulate light at the nanoscale. By integrating plasmonic, electronic, and conventional photonic devices on the same chip, it would be possible to take advantage of the strengths of each technology. We present some of the recent studies on plasmonic structures and conclude by providing an assessment of the potential opportunities and limitations for Si chip-scale plasmonics.

past 1 to 2 years, as the annual increase rate of the clock speed of microprocessors slowed greatly. Optical interconnects such as fiber optic cables can carry digital data with a capacity 91000 times that of electronic interconnects. Unfortunately, fiber optic cables are È1000 times larger compared with electronic components, and the two technologies are difficult to combine on the same circuit. External optical interconnects that can connect different parts of the electronic chips via air or fiber cables have also been proposed. However, the resulting bulky configuration has limited the implementation of this idea. The ideal solution would be to have a circuit with nanoscale features that can carry optical signals and electric currents. One such proposal is surface plasmons, which are electromagnetic waves that propagate along the surface of a conductor. The interaction of light with matter in nanostructured metallic structures has led to a new branch of photonics called plasmonics. Plasmonic circuits offer the potential to carry optical signals and electric currents through the same thin metal circuitry, thereby creating the ability to combine the superior technical advantages of photonics and electronics on the same chip.

II PLASMONICS AS A NEW DEVICE TECHNOLOGY:
Metal nanostructures may possess exactly the right combination of electronic and optical properties to tackle the issues outlined above and realize the dream of significantly faster processing speeds. The metals commonly used in electrical interconnection such as Cu and Al allow the excitation of surface plasmon- polaritons (SPPs). SPPs are electromagnetic waves that propagate along a metal-dielectric interface and are coupled to the free electrons in the metal. The metallic interconnects that support such waves thus serve as tiny optical waveguides termed plasmonic waveguides. The notion that the optical mode (µlight beam¶) diameter normal to the metal interface can be significantly smaller than the wavelength of light has generated significant excitement and sparked the dream that one day we will be able to interface nanoscale electronics with similarly sized optical (plasmonic) devices. It is important to realize that, with the latest advances in electromagnetic simulations and current complementary

I. INTRODUCTION
Today¶s state-of-the-art microprocessors use ultrafast transistors with dimensions on the order of 50 nm. Although it is now routine to produce fast transistors, there is a major problem in carrying digital information to the other end of a microprocessor that may be a few centimeters away. Whereas copper wire interconnects carry digital information, interconnect scaling has been insufficient to provide the necessary connections required by an exponentially growing transistor count. Unlike transistors, for which performance improves with scaling, the delay of interconnects increases and becomes a substantial limitation to the speed of digital circuits . This limitation has become more evident over the

investigating the propagation of SPPs on a patterned Au film (Figure 2d). Here, a focused ion beam (FIB) was used to define a series of parallel grooves, which serve as a Bragg grating to reflect SPP waves. Figure 2e shows a PSTM image of a SPP wave excited with a 780 nm wavelength laser and directed toward the Bragg grating. The back reflection of the SPP from the grating results in the standing wave interference pattern observed in the image. From this type of experiment the wavelength of SPPs can be determined in a straightforward manner and compared to theory. Fi 1 A SPP propagati g along a metal ielectric interface. These waves are transverse magnetic in nat re. From an engineering standpoint an SPP can be viewed as a special t pe of light wave propagating along the metal surface
¤ £¢ ¡ ¥   ¦

IV EXPERIMENTS and SIMULATIONS on PLASMONIC WAVEGUIDES :
The valuable information about plasmonic structures provided by PSTM measurements allows us to evaluate the utility of plasmonics for interconnection. Plasmonic stripe waveguides provide a natural starting point for this discussion as such stripes very closely resemble conventional metal interconnects. Electron beam lithography has been used to generate 55 nm thick Au stripes on a SiO2 glass slide with stripe widths ranging from 5 m to 50 nm. Au stripes are ideal for fundamental waveguide transport studies as they are easy to fabricate, do not oxidi e, and exhibit a qualitatively similar plasmonic response to Cu and Al. Figure 3a shows an optical micrograph of a typical device consisting of a large Au area from which SPPs can be launched onto varying width metal stripes. A scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of a 250 nm wide stripe is shown as an inset. The red arrow shows how light is launched from a focused laser spot into 1 m wide strip Figures 3b, 3c, and 3d show PSTM images of SPPs excited at = 780 nm and propagating along 3.0 m, 1.5 m, and 0.5 m wide Au stripes, respectively. The 3.0 m wide stripe can be used to propagate signals over several tens of microns. Similar to previous far-field measurements along Ag stripes, it is clear that the propagation distance of SPPs decreases with decreasing stripe width. A better understanding of this behavior can be obtained from full-field simulations and a recently developed, intuitive ray optics picture for plasmon waveguides. A selection of these simulation results is presented next, followed by a discussion of the potential uses for these relatively short propagation distance waveguides. This type of knowledge presented on the propagation behavior of plasmonic interconnects (mode si e, propagation length, and cutoff) is essential for chip-designers and process engineers. It is clear that the short propagation distances found 


metal oxide semiconductor (CM S)-compatible fabrication techni ues, a variet of functional plasmonic structures can be designed and fabricated in a Si foundry right now. Current Sibased integrated circuit technology already uses nanoscale metallic structures, such as Cu and Al interconnects, to route electronic signals between transistors on a chip. This mature processing technology can thus be used to our advantage in integrating plasmonic devices with their electronic and dielectric photonic counterparts. In some cases, plasmonic waveguides may even perform a dual function and simultaneously carry both optical and electrical signals, giving rise to exciting new capabilities.
§ ¦ ¨ ¢

III IMAGING SPPs' with a PHOTON SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPE :
In order to study the propagation of SPPs, a photon scanning tunneling microscope was constructed (PSTM) by modifying a commercially available scanning near-field optical microscope. PSTMs are the tool of choice for characteri ing SPP propagation along extended films as wellas metal stripe waveguide. Figure 2a shows how a microscope objective at the heart of our PSTM can be used to focus a laser beam onto a metal film at a well-defined angle and thereby launch a SPP along the top metal surface A sharp, metal-coated pyramidal tip (Figure 2b and 2c) is used to tap into the guided SPP wave locally and scatter light toward a far-field detector. These particular tips have a nanoscale aperture at the top of the pyramid through which light can be collected. The scattered light is then detected with a photomultiplier tube. The signal provides a measure of the local light intensity right underneath the tip and, by scanning the tip over the metal surface, the propagation of SPPs can be imaged The operation of the PSTM can be illustrated by
©

for plasmonic waveguides preclude direct competition with low-loss dielectric waveguide components. However,

Fig 2. (a) Schematic representation of the operation of a PSTM that enables the study of SPP propagation along metal film surfaces. The red arrow shows how a SPP is launched from an excitation spot onto a metal film surface using a high numerical aperture microscope objective. (b) Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of the near-field optical cantilever probe used in the experiments. The tip consists of a microfabricated; hollow glass pyramid coated with an optically thick layer of Al. Light can be collected or emitted through a 50 nm hole fabricated in the Al film on the top of the pyramid. (c) A cross-sectional view of the same hollow pyramidal tip after a large section was cut out of the sidewall with a focused ion beam (FIB). In close proximity to the surface, the pyramidal tip can tap into the propagating SPP and scatter out a little bit of light through th e 50 nm hole (shown pictorially). The scattered light is detected in the far-field, providing a measure of the local field intensity right underneath the tip. By scanning the tip over the sample and measuring the intensity at each tip position, images of propagating SPPs can be created. (d) SEM image of an Au film into which a Bragg grating has been fabricated using a FIB. (e) PSTM image of an SPP wave launched along the metal film toward the Bragg grating. The back reflection of the SPP from the Bragg grating results in the observation of a standing wave interference pattern .

Fig 3.(a) Optical microscopy image of a SiO2 substrate with an array of Au stripes attached to a large launchpad generated by

electron beam lithography. The red arrow illustrates the launching of an SPP into a 1 m wide stripe. (b, c, and d) PSTM images of SPPs excited at = 780 nm and propagating along 3.0 m, 1.5 m, and 0.5 m wide Au stripes, respectively Fig 6. Plot of(a) SPP propagation length and (b) spatial extent of the SPP modes as a function of the center-layer thickness for MIM and IMI plasmonic waveguides. The insets illustrate plotted terms. The reflection pole method was used for = 1.55 m with Au as the metal and air as the insulator. and their performance parameters should not suffer from the unavoidable resistive losses in the metals. While we have shown that weakly guided stripe waveguides cannot achieve deep sub wavelength confinement, there exist alternative strongly guiding geometries that can provide markedly better confinement. This category of structures is of great interest for novel interconnection schemes Waveguides consisting of two closely spaced metals also combine propagation distances of a few microns with deep-

plasmonic structures can add new types of functionality to chips that cannot be obtained with dielectric photonics. One category of structures offering unique capabilities is active plasmonic interconnects. Such interconnects may offer new capabilities by introducing nonlinear optical or electrical materials into otherwise passive plasmonic waveguides. If the nonlinearities are strong enough, these devices can be made small compared with the characteristic decay lengths of SPPs

subwavelength confinement. Figure 6a shows a comparison of propagation lengths (where the exponential decay in |Ez| falls to the 1/e point) for planar metal/insulator/metal (MIM) waveguides and waveguides consisting of a metal film sandwiched between two insulators (IMI waveguides). These calculations were performed using the well-established reflectionpole method at the important telecommunications wavelength of 1.55 m. For a sufficiently large center-layer thickness, the propagation lengths for these two types of waveguides converge to the propagation length found for a single interface (dashed line in Figure 6a). This is reasonable since the SPP modes on the two metal surfaces decouple when the spacing between them becomes large. As the center layer thickness decreases and the SPPs at the two interfaces start to interact, the propagation length along MIM structures decreases while it increases along IMI structures. In fact, IMI waveguides can reach centimeter propagation distances for very thin metal films. For obvious reasons, these are termed long-range SPP modes. These µlarge¶ propagation distances can be understood by realizing that the spatial extent of the modes becomes as large as 10 m at these extremely thin metallic film thicknesses (Figure 6b). In this case, the SPP waves are almost entirely propagating in the very low loss air region with very little field intensity inside the lossy (resistive) metal. The MIM modes exhibit a continuous decrease in the propagation length as the center insulating layer thickness is reduced. However, Figure 6b shows that by µpushing¶ the metals closer together it is feasible to realize deep subwavelength mode diameters without running into problems with cutoff. For example, the spatial extent decreases to about 100 nm (< /15) for a metal-to-metal spacing of 50 nm. It seems possible; therefore, that information can be transported in a deep-subwavelength mode over short ( 1 m) distances, which is impossible with conventional dielectric components. For CMOS-compatible Cu and Al plasmonic waveguides, similar numbers are found and are discussed in a recent publication. Within short propagation distances, MIM structures also allow routing of electromagnetic energy around sharp corners and signals to be split in T-junctions. These unique features can be used to realize truly nanoscale photonic functionality and circuitry, although the maximum size of such circuits will be limited by the SPP propagation length. It is important to realize that for every type of waveguide, there is a clear, but different, trade-off between confinement and propagation distance (loss). The use of one type of waveguide over another will thus depend on application-specific constraints

Plasmonic waveguides are used to guide the plasmonic signals in these circuits and can be configured by using various geometries . Thin metal films of finite width embedded in a dielectric can be used as plasmonic waveguides. This geometry offers the best propagation results for a surface plasmon±based waveguide, because the measured propagation length for operation with light at a wavelength of 1550 nm is reported to be as long as 13.6 mm. However, the localization for both directions is on the order of a few micrometers in this plasmonic waveguide geometry . To achieve subwavelength localization, one can reduce the width of the wire and subsequently use the SPs to guide the light underneath this nanowire. In nanowires, the confinement of the electrons in two dimensions leads to welldefined dipole surface plasmon resonances, if the lateral dimensions of the wire are much smaller than the wavelength of the exiting light. By using this method, a 200-nm-wide and 50-nm-high gold nanowire was fabricated. This plasmonic waveguide was then locally excited at a light wavelength of 800 nm . By direct imaging of the optical near field with subwavelengthresolution photon scanning tunneling microscopy, light transport was observed along the nanowire over a distance of a few micrometers. Although this is a clear demonstration of subwavelength guiding, the losses associated with the resistive heating within the metal limit the maximum propagation length of light within these structures. In order to avoid the ohmic losses, one can envision using an array of nanoparticle resonators. The resonant structure of the nanoparticles can be used to guide the light, whereas the reduced metallic volume means a substantial reduction in ohmic losses. Stefan Maier and co-workers used such a structure (Fig. 1A), in which nanoscale gold dots were patterned on a silicon-oninsulator wafer to define the plasmon propagation path. Figure 1B shows scanning electron micrographs (SEMs) of the fabricated plasmonics waveguides designed for operation at a wavelength of 1500 nm. The waveguide structure is not uniform across its width where the size of the metal dots is reduced from 80 nm _ 80 nm at the center to 50 nm _ 50 nm at the edges. This has the effect of confining the energy more intently to the middle of the guide (Fig. 1A). This structure has been shown to have a decay length longer than 50 mm, whereas theoretical simulations predict a decay length in the order of 500 mm. Figure 1A shows that although the localization along the x direction is subwavelength, the localization extends a few periods along the y direction, which corresponds to localization on the order of a wavelength. Therefore, the subwavelength localization of SPs is limited only to the x direction. To achieve localization in both directions, a new type of highly localized plasmon has been analyzed and experimentally demonstrated in metals with V-shaped grooves (10). The major features of plasmons in V grooves include a combination of strong localization, single-mode operation, the possibility of nearly 100% transmission through sharp bends, and a high tolerance to structural imperfections. For the localization and guiding to occur, the wedge angle (q) of the V

V PLASMONIC WAVEGUIDES

groove should be smaller than a critical angle. For V grooves made from silver with a vacuum wavelength of 0.6328 mm, this critical wedge angle is found to be 102-. The measured lateral localization of a structure with a 40- wedge angle is È300 nm, which is superior to the nanoparticle-based plasmonic waveguides. However, the reported experimental and theoretical decay lengths for the same V groove±shaped plasmonic waveguide are 1.5 mm and 2.25 mm, respectively, which are obviously too short for any application of these plasmonic structures. The propagation distance performance of the V groove±shaped SP waveguides has been recently extended to 250 mm (11). By using focused ion-beam milling techniques, 460-mm-long V groove±shaped plasmonic waveguides were fabricated on gold layers that were deposited on a substrate of fused silica. Scanning near-field optical microscope measurements of these structures were made at optical communication wavelengths (1425 to 1620 nm). For a structure with a 0.6-mm-wide and 1.0-mm-deep groove wedge (corresponding to a È17- wedge angle), the SP propagation lengths were measured to be within 90 to 250 mm. The mode was well confined along the lateral direction, and the measured mode width was 1.1 mm. Thus there is a basic trade-off in all Plasmon waveguide geometries between mode size and propagation loss. One can have a low propagation loss at the expense of a large mode size, or a high propagation loss with highly confined light. A hybrid approach, where both plasmonic and dielectric waveguides are used, has been suggested as a solution to this tradeoff.These waveguides are designed for 1500-nm operation and exhibit losses on the order of ±1.2 dB/mm, and they can guide light around 0.5-mm bends. Light can also be efficiently coupled between more conventional silicon waveguides, where these Plasmon waveguides with compact couplers and surface plasmon optical device scan be constructed by using planar circuit fabrication techniques. Introducing gain to the plasmonic waveguides can also bring a solution to the limited propagation distances. This situation is theoretically investigated by considering the propagation of SPs on metallic waveguides adjacent to a gain medium The analytic analysis and numeric simulation results show that the gain medium assists the SP propagation by compensating for the metal losses, making it possible to propagate SPs with little or no loss on metal boundaries and guides. The calculated gain requirements suggest that lossless, gain-assisted surface plasmon propagation can be achieved in practice for infrared wavelengths. Recently, a new kind of SP geometry has been suggested to solve theoretically the issue of confinement versus propagation length The new mechanism for confining much more field in the low-index region rather than in the adjacent high-index region is based on the relative dispersive characteristics of different surface plasmon modes that are present in these structures. The structures have a subwavelength modal size and very slow group velocity over an unusually large frequency bandwidth. Simulations show that the structures exhibit absorption losses limited only by the intrinsic loss of the metal. Currently, there is no experimental data that supports these simulations. However, the new

suggested SP structure is quite promising and deserves attention from the experimental research groups that are working on plasmonic waveguides. Plasmonic chips will have optical input and output ports, and these ports will be optically connected to conventional diffraction-limited photonic devices by plasmonic couplers. The couplers should have high conversion efficiency, along with a transmission length that is longer than the optical wavelength to avoid the direct coupling of the propagating far-field light to the nanophotonic devices inside the plasmonic chip. A promising candidate for this feature can be fabricated by combining hemispherical metallic nanoparticles that work as a plasmonic condenser and a nanodot-based plasmonic waveguide . When the focused plasmons move into the coupler, the transmission length through the coupler is 4.0 mm. Nanodots can also be used for focusing SPs into a spot of high near-field intensity having a subwavelength width . Figure 2A shows the SEM image of such a sample containing 19 200-nm through-holes arranged on a quarter circle with a 5-mm radius. The SPs originating from these nanodots are coupled to a metal nanostrip waveguide. A near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) image of this structure was taken at 532-nm incident wavelength with horizontal polarization. The near-field image (Fig. 2B) shows that the focused SPs propagate along the subwavelength metal guide, where they partially penetrate into the 100-nm-wide

Fig. 1. (A) FDTD simulations show the electric field produced within the plasmon waveguide structure. (B) A plasmon waveguide consists of nanoscale gold dots on a silicon-on-insulator surface.

optical excitation. The signal modulation depth can exceed 80%, and switching times are expected to be in the picosecond time scale. The realization of an active plasmonic device by combining thin polymer films containing molecular chromophores with thin silver film has also been reported . The molecular plasmonic device consists of two polymer layers, one containing donor chromophore molecules and the other containing acceptor fluorophore molecules. Coupled SPs are shown to provide an effective transfer of excitation energy from donor molecules to acceptor molecules on opposite sides of metal film up to 120 nanometers thick. The donors absorb incident light and transfer this excitation energy by dipoledipole interactions to the acceptors. The acceptors then emit their characteristic fluorescence. These results are preliminary demonstrations for active control of plasmonic propagation, and future research should focus on the investigation of electro-optic, all-optical, and piezoelectric modulation of subwavelength plasmon waveguide transmission. Extensive research efforts are being put forth in order to achieve an allplasmonic chip. In the near term, plasmonic interconnects may be used to address the capacity problem in digital circuits including microprocessors. Conventional electronic interconnects may be used to transfer the digital data among the local arrays of electronic transistors. But, when a lot of data need to travel from one section of a chip to another remote section of the chip, electronic information could be converted to plasmonic information, sent along a plasmonic wire, and converted back to electronic information at the destination. Unfortunately, the current performance of plasmonic waveguides is insufficient for this kind of application, and there is an urgent need for more work in this area. If plasmonic components can be successfully implemented as digital highways into electronic circuits, this will be one of the µµkiller applications¶¶ of plasmonics. Fig. 2. (A) SEM image of a nanodot focusing array coupled to a 250-nm-wide Ag strip guide. (B) NSOM image of the SP intensity showing subwavelength focusing.

VI PLASMONIC LIGHT SOURCES
The emerging field of plasmonics is not only limited to the propagation of light in structures with subwavelength dimensions. Plasmonics can also help to generate and manipulate electromagnetic radiation in various wavelengths from optics to microwaves. Since their introduction by Nakamura in 1995 , InGaN-based semiconductor light emitting diodes (LEDs) have become promising candidates for a variety of solid-state lightning applications . However, semiconductor-based LEDs are also notorious for their low light-emission efficiencies. Plasmonics can be used to solve this efficiency problem . When InGaN/GaN quantum wells (QWs) are coated by nanometer silver or aluminum films, the resulting SPs increase the density of states and the spontaneous emission rate in the semiconductor. This leads to the enhancement of light emission by SP-QW coupling, which results in large enhancements of internal quantum efficiencies. Time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy measurements were used to achieve a 32-fold increase in the spontaneous emission rate of an InGaN/GaN QW at 440 nm

bifurcation at the end of the guide, thus overcoming the diffraction limit of conventional optics. The measured propagation distance is limited to 2 mm, and the propagation distances are expected to be much longer with improved fabrication processes and by using properly designed metaldielectric hybrid structures. The combination of focusing arrays and nanowaveguides may serve as a basic element in planar plasmonic circuits. Active control of plasmons is needed to achieve plasmonic modulators and switches. Plasmonic signals in a metal-ondielectric waveguide containing a gallium section a few microns long can be effectively controlled by switching the structural phase of gallium . The switching can be achieved by either changing the waveguide temperature or by external

.This enhancement of the emission rates and intensities results photoluminescence band. At similar current densities, a from the efficient energy transfer from electron-hole pair sevenfold electroluminescence efficiency enhancement was recombination in the QW to electron vibrations of SPs at the obtained with the patterned Al device compared with a control metal-coated surface of the semiconductor heterostructure. device based on imperforated Al electrode, demonstrating that This QW-SP coupling is expected to lead to a new class of the method of patterning the electrodes into 2D hole arrays is super bright and high-speed LEDs that offer realistic efficient for this structure. Plasmonics can also be used to enhance the performance of lasers . A metal nano-aperture alternatives to conventional fluorescent tubes. Similar promising results were obtained for organic LEDs was fabricated on top of a GaAs vertical cavity surface (OLEDs), which are now becoming popular as digital emitting laser (VCSEL) for subwavelength optical near-field displays. In an OLED, up to 40% of the power that can be probing. The optical near-field intensity and the signal voltage coupled into air is lost due to quenching by SP modes. A of nano-aperture VCSELs exhibit record high values because periodic microstructure can be used to recover the power that of the localized surface plasmons in metal nanostructures. The is normally lost to SPs. Using this approach, strong enhancement factors of the optical near-field and voltage photoluminescence has been reported from a topemitting signal are 1.8 and 2, respectively. Reducing the nano-aperture organic light-emitting structure, where emission takes place reduces the optical resolution of the VCSEL probe from 240 through a thin silver film . The results indicate that the nm to 130 nm. These results show that plasmon enhancement addition of a nanopatterned dielectric overlayer to the cathode will be helpful for realizing high-resolution optical near-field of top-emitting OLEDs should increase light emission from VCSEL probes. SPs also play a key role in the transmission these structures by two orders of magnitude over a similar properties of single apertures and the enhanced transmission planar structure. The dielectric layer acts to couple the surface through subwavelength hole arrays . There has been intense plasmon-polariton modes on the two metal surfaces, whereas controversy on the physical origin of the enhanced its corrugated morphology allows the modes to scatter to light. transmission in these structures . Recent theoretical and An OLED using a p-conjugated polymer emissive layer experimental analyses suggest that the enhanced transmission sandwiched between two semitransparent electrodes was also can be explained by diffraction assisted by the enhanced fields reported . One of the electrodes was an optically thin gold film associated with SPs . Although SPs are mostly studied at anode, whereas the cathode was in the form of an optically optical frequencies, they can also be observed at the thick aluminum (Al) film with patterned periodic microwave, millimeter-wave, and THz frequencies . By subwavelength two-dimensional (2D) hole array that showed texturing the metallic surface with a subwavelength pattern, anomalous transmission in the spectral range of the polymer we can create SPs that are responsible for enhanced Fig. 10. Future integrated plasmonic circuit, including: (0) incoupling structures; (1) color demultiplexing in a ³Z´ add/drop filter; (2) bends and tapers in LR-SPP waveguides; (3) all-optical preprocessing logic; (4) integrated photodetection; (5) optical clock incoupled from free space; (6) nano-optical subcircuit (on-chip integrated light source, electrooptic plasmostor, single quantum dot devices, integrated photodetection); (7) collection of light via ³photon sorting´; (8) integrated plasmonic color filtering; and (9) beam shaping of emitted light.

transmission observed at microwave and millimeter wave frequencies for 1D and 2D gratings with subwavelength apertures . A subwavelength circular aperture with concentric periodic grooves can be used to obtain enhanced microwave transmission near the surface plasmon resonance frequency . These results show that enhanced transmission from a subwavelength circular annular aperture with a grating is assisted by the guided mode of the coaxial waveguide and coupling to the surface plasmons. A 145-fold enhancement factor is obtained with a subwavelength circular annular aperture surrounded by concentric periodic grooves. The same structure also exhibits beaming properties that are similar to the beaming effects observed from a subwavelength aperture at optical wavelengths . Figure 3 shows the electromagnetic waves from a subwavelength circular annular aperture surrounded by concentric periodic grooves. The radiated electromagnetic waves have a very strong angular confinement around the surface mode resonance frequency, in which the angular divergence of the beam is T3-. Enhanced transmission at THz wavelengths is also reported for a freestanding metal foil perforated with periodic arrays of subwavelength apertures . The peak transmission at the lowest frequency resonance is È0.6 for each aperture array, which is a factor of È5 larger than the fractional area occupied by the apertures. Doped semiconductors exhibit a behavior at THz frequencies similar to that of metals at optical frequencies, thus they constitute an optimal material for THz plasmonics . Enhanced transmission of THz radiation is observed by using arrays of subwavelength apertures structured in n-type silicon. This enhancement can be

explained by the resonant tunneling of SPs that can be excited at THz wavelengths in doped semiconductors. The transmission increases markedly as the aperture size is augmented and as the array thickness is reduced.

VII Si PLASMONICS: CHALLENGES AND PROJECTIONS
As highlighted in this review, plasmonic components are rapidly evolving from discrete, passive structures toward integrated active devices. In part, this progress has been facilitated by opportunities to dispersion engineer metallodielectric systems. Surface plasmons provide access to an enormous phase space of refractive indices and propagation constants that can be readily tuned through variation of material, dimension, or geometry. Via dispersion engineering, plasmonics has enabled a suite of passive and active subwavelength optical components, including interconnects, negative index metamaterials, optoelectronic modulators, and plasmon-enhanced sources. Plasmonic geometries are also being explored for quantum optics, nonlinear optics, transformation optics, optical antennas, and nano-optical circuits. The ultrasmall mode size and high local fields of plasmonic architectures can combine the functionality of photonics and electronics on-chip. Still, a number of challenges should be addressed en-route to integrated plasmonics. These include: (i) investigating low-loss plasmonic materials, with lower intrinsic absorption than Ag; (ii) developing a surface-plasmon laser that is both frequencytunable and subwavelength in size; (iii) exciting and detecting surface plasmons on-chip via electrical means; and (iv) demonstrating integrated plasmonic logic. Despite these challenges, Si-based plasmonic networks may be envisioned

for the foreseeable future. Fig. 10 depicts an artistic rendering of a hybrid optoelectronic circuit, synthesizing a number of plasmonic device concepts from the recent literature. On the far left, light arrives from a dielectric waveguide which can be matched with low insertion loss to an LR-SPP waveguide . Wavelength demultiplexing is performed using ³Z´ drop filters , while low-loss tapers and bends direct the LRSPPs into the densely integrated section of the circuit . A compact, lowpower all-optical plasmonic switch provides a dynamically configurable interconnect system. Ultimately, the incident LR-SPPs are detected by waveguide-integrated photodetectors . Separately, an optical clock signal arrives as a free space beam, which is captured by a grating and distributed throughout the electronic processor by a branching plasmonic network. Utilizing a planarcompactMIMwaveguide, this signal could be carried to buried layers aswell as across the top surface . The electronic circuit is coupled to a nano-optical subsystem, which employs an onchip optical train consisting of an integrated plasmonic light source , electrooptic plasmon modulators , and detectors. Here, the region of interest is represented as nanoguides, which address individual light emitting quantum dots . Other exciting nano-optical systems on chip might include highly integrated chemical or biological analysis arrays that address multiple individual molecules. Finally, the module contains functionality for receiving and transmitting data by free space optical communication. For detection, a small array of photodetectors is employed, which take advantage of plasmonic collection of light. These concentric rings increase the effective area of the detector, as well as integrating color selectivity . On the output side, in conjunction with an integrated broadband source, the wavelength of emitted light is controlled dynamically by a tunable plasmonic color filter .Whether the output beams emanate from such a plasmonic color display or an alternative light source such as an array of vertically emitting lasers, the output beams are conditioned to have small divergence, using an integrated plasmonic antenna collimator . As noted by Gordon Moore in his seminal 1965 manuscript, Cramming more components onto integrated circuits , ³the future of integrated electronics is the future of electronics itself.´ Perhaps the same can be said of plasmonics. The promise of plasmonics for Si photonics lies in the ability to combine optical sources, interconnects, modulators, and detectors on the same chip, within subdiffraction-limited dimensions. Such an integrated photonic technology could revolutionize the bandwidth, speed, size, cost, and power requirements of modern computational networks, enabling more efficient solutions to increasingly complex problems.

VIII LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
The possibility to confine light to the nanoscale and the ability to tune the dispersion relation of light have evoked large interest and led to rapid growth of plasmonic research. The parallel development of nanoscale fabrication techniques

like electron beam lithography and focused-ionbeam milling has opened up new ways to structure metals¶ surfaces and control surface plasmon polariton propagation and dispersion at the nanoscale. In 2000, Mark L. Brongersma et al (and others) proposed that EM energy could be transported below the diffraction limit with high efficiency and group velocity greater than 0.1c along a wire of its characteristic length 0.1 . In year 2002, Maier et al experimentally observed the most efficient frequency for transport to be 3.19×1015 rad/sec with a corresponding group velocity of 4.0x106 m/s for longitudinal mode of plasmon waveguide having an inter-particle distance of 75 nm. The achieved bandwidth was calculated to be 1.4×1014 rad/sec. Dionne et al in year 2006 constructed slot waveguides. Slot waveguides can support both transverse electric and transverse magnetic photonic polarisation. The loss in slot waveguide can be minimised by using a low-refractive-index material; for example, a 100nm thick Ag/SiO2/Ag slab waveguide sustains signal propagation up to 35 m at wavelength of 840 nm. In 2007, Feng et al observed that field localisation could be improved by introducing the partial dielectric filling of the metal slot waveguide, which also reduces propagation losses. The channel in metal surface waveguides supports surface plasmons at telecommunication wavelength with very low loss (having propagation length of 100 m) and well-confined guiding. In this experiment, surface plasmons are guided along a 0.6 m wide and 1 m deep triangular groove in gold material. Thin metallic strips can support long-range surface plasmons²a particular type of surface plasmon mode characterised by electromagnetic fields mostly contained in the region outside of the metal, i.e., in dielectric medium. Jung et al in 2007 experimentally confirmed that long-range surface plasmons could transfer data signal as well as the carrier light. In a demonstration, a 10Gbps signal was transmitted over a thin metallic strip (14nm thick, 2.5 m wide and 4cm long gold strip). Furthermore, to reduce the propagation loss, Jin Tae Kim et al fabricated a low-loss, long-range surface Plasmon polariton waveguide in an ultraviolet curable acrylate polymer having low refractive index and absorption loss. A 14nm thick and 3 m wide metallic strip cladded in acrylate polymer material shows a loss of 1.72 dB/cm. Rashid Zia et al obtained the numerical solution by using the full-vectorial magnetic field finite-difference method for 55nm thick and 3.5nm wide strip on glass at a wavelength of 800 nm and noted that surface plasmons are supported on both sides of the strip and can propagate independently. Alexandra et al in year 2008 suggested that triangular metal wedge could guide surface plasmons at telecommunication wavelength. It was experimentally observed that 1.43- 1.52 m wavelength can propagate over a distance of about 120 m with confined-mode width of 1.3 m along a 6 m high and 70.5º angled triangular gold wedge.

IX FUTURE DIRECTIONS

In the field of plasmonics, studying the way light interacts with metallic nanostructures will make it easier to design new optical material devices. One primary goal of this field is to develop new optical components and systems that are of the same size as today¶s smallest integrated circuits and that could ultimately be integrated with electronics on the same chip. The next step will be to integrate the components with an electronic chip to demonstrate plasmonic data generation, transport and detection. Plasmon waves on metals behave much like light waves in glass. That means engineers can use techniques like multiplexing or sending multiple waves. Plasmon sources, detectors and wires as well as splitters and even plasmonsters can be developed. Applications mainly depend on controlling the losses and the cost of nanofabrication techniques. Enhanced and directed emission of semiconductor luminescence (quantum dots) may well find commercial application in plasmonassisted lighting in the near future. Finally, plasmonic nanocircuits combine a high bandwidth with a high level of compaction and make plasmonic components promising for all-optical circuits. Plasmonic wires will act as high-bandwidth freeways across the busiest areas of the chip. Plasmons can ferry data along computer chips. Plasmonic switches required for this are under development. Rotaxanes molecule is being used for the purpose. Change in the shape of the molecule is the principle of this molecular switch.

required. Once these are realised, nanoscale cavities to confine surface plasmon polaritons can also be designed. The limits to the mode volume and quality factor of plasmonic cavities are not yet known. finally, the use of a particle beam rather than a light beam to excite surface plasmon polaritons raises questions and novel opportunities regarding the selectivity with which surface plasmon modes with different symmetry can be excited.

CONCLUSION
Plasmonics has the potential to play a unique and important role in enhancing the processing speed of future integrated circuits. The field has witnessed an explosive growth over the last few years and our knowledge base in plasmonics is rapidly expanding. As a result, the role of plasmonic devices on a chip is also becoming more well-defined and is captured in Figure 8. This graph shows the operating speeds and critical dimensions of different chip-scale device technologies. In the past, devices were relatively slow and bulky. The semiconductor industry has performed an incredible job in

X CHALLENGES REMAINING
Despite many advances in the field of plasmonics, several important open questions and problems remain. For example, how can plasmons be efficiently excited with nanoscale resolution resolution? Surface plasmon polaritons are usually excited using far-field optical techniques, which have a higher resolution than plasmonic phenomena under investigation. However, for true nanoscale plasmonic studies, a surfaceplasmon- polariton point source with nanoscale dimensions is required. ³What are the fundamental processes that determine the losses of surface plasmon polaritons?´ is another important question. Practically, Plasmon experiments are performed on poly-crystalline surfaces, and the limits to the losses due to surface roughness, grain boundaries, etc are not known. Surface plasmons propagate along the chain of nanoparticles, but the losses are high. On the other hand, propagation losses are low in the case of nanowires, which leaves open the possibility of surface-plasmon optical devices .the dream of making all-plasmonic devices requires further research. In order to realise advanced active circuits, there is a need for active modulator and switching components operating at ultra-high bandwidth and lowpower utilisation. To manipulate surface Plasmon polaritons on a surface, reflectors are needed. So far, macroscopic Bragg reflectors structured into the surface have been used. For true nanoscale integration, nanoscale surface Plasmon polariton mirrors are

Fig. 2: Operating regimes²applicable size and speed scale² for plasmonic and other devices scaling electronic devices to nanoscale dimensions. Unfortunately, interconnect delay time issues provide significant challenges toward the realization of purely electronic circuits operating above 10 GHz. In stark contrast, photonic devices possess an enormous data-carrying capacity (bandwidth). Unfortunately, dielectric photonic components are limited in their size by the laws of diffraction, preventing the same scaling as in electronics. Finally, plasmonics offers precisely what electronics and photonics do not have: the size of electronics and the speed of photonics. Plasmonic devices, therefore, might interface naturally with similar speed photonic devices and similar size electronic components. For these reasons, plasmonics may well serve as

the missing link between the two device technologies that currently have a difficult time communicating. By increasing the synergy between these technologies, plasmonics may be able to unleash the full potential of nanoscale functionality and become the next wave of chip-scale technology

REFERENCES
y y y y y . http://www.sciencedirect.com . http://www.plasmonifocus.com . http://appliedplasmonics.com . http://newscientist.com Plasmonics promises Faster Communication Dr Verma, Mr Singh www. e f ymag . com y Silicon-Based Plasmonics for On-Chip Photonics Jennifer A. Dionne, Luke A. Sweatlock, Matthew T. Sheldon, A. Paul Alivisatos, and Harry A. Atwater y Plasmonics: Merging Photonics and Electronics at Nanoscale Dimensions Science 311, 189 (2006); Ekmel Ozbay DOI: 10.1126/science.1114849 y PLASMONICS USING METAL NANOPARTICLES Tammy K. Lee and Parama Pal ECE 580 ± Nano-Electro-Opto-Bio March 29th, 2007 y Plasmonics: Localization and guiding of electromagnetic energy in metal/dielectric structures Stefan A. Maiera_ and Harry A. Atwater Thomas J. Watson Laboratories of Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena,California 91125

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful