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**Integrated System-Level Electronic Design Automation (EDA) for Designing Plasmonic nanoCircuits
**

Hong-Son Chu, Oka Kurniawan, Wenzu Zhang, Dongying Li, Member, IEEE, and Er-Ping Li, Fellow, IEEE

Abstract—This work proposes a system-level circuit simulation framework for nanoplasmonic devices, and presents as an example of the simulation of a plasmonic nanocircuit. The electronic design automation (EDA) environment provides an equivalent circuit model library for several plasmonic MetalInsulator-Metal (MIM) based devices. The accuracy of the equivalent models for the plasmonic nanocircuit library is verified by using full-wave simulations and analytical equations. These models are then used to design an ultra-compact MachZehnder (MZ) plasmonic modulator. It is shown that the voltage required to achieve a π phase shift (Vπ) in the modulator can be predicted by the simulator with reasonable accuracy. The optimized design of the modulator is also presented that reduces the value of Vπ according to the required specification. Index Terms—Equivalent circuit, nanoplasmonic waveguide, nanocircuit, Mach-Zehnder modulator.

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I. INTRODUCTION

OMPACT integrated nanophotonic devices promise both high speed and small dimensions for information processing. Such integration will benefit considerably from the application of sub-wavelength photonic structures. In recent years, it has been demonstrated theoretically and experimentally that propagating electromagnetic waves can be coupled into sub-wavelength photonic devices through surface plasmon polaritons, the study of which is commonly referred to as plasmonics [1]-[3]. The efficient design of sub-wavelength plasmonic structures typically requires full-wave electromagnetic simulations for accurate characterization of the device at nano-scale, which may become quite costly. Within the microwave frequency spectrum, the numerical burden of full-wave simulations is alleviated by simulating auxiliary circuit models of actual

Manuscript received August 29, 2011. This work was supported by the A*STAR Metamaterials-Nanoplasmonics research programme under grant number A*STAR-SERC 0921540098. The authors are grateful to Professor Wolfgang R. J. Hoefer for fruitful discussions and valuable comments. H.-S. Chu is with the Electronics and Photonics department, A*STAR-Institute of High Performance Computing, 138632 SINGAPORE (phone: +65-6419-1314; fax: +65-6463-0200; e-mail: chuhs@ihpc.a-star.edu.sg). O. Kurniawan, was with A*STAR-Institute of High Performance Computing, 138632 SINGAPORE. He is now with the school of Mathematics and Science, Singapore Polytechnic, 139651 SINGAPORE (email: oka_kurniawan@sp.edu.sg). W. Zhang, D. Li, and E.-P. Li are with the Electronics and Photonics department, A*STAR-Institute of High Performance Computing, 138632 SINGAPORE (e-mail: {zhangwz;lid;eplee}@ihpc.a-star.edu.sg).

devices at the system level [4]. Recently, analog concepts have also been adopted in the plasmonic regime. Equivalent transmission-line models and circuits have been vastly proposed to characterize several plasmonic structures including slot and cylindrical waveguide [5]-[10], metallic nanoparticles [11]. Moreover, the waveguide-based devices have also been analyzed by using impedance matching of the circuit model which include the quarter-wavelength transformers used for optical-to-plasmonic mode conversion [12], as well as the Fabry-Perot structures and MIM stubs [9], [13]. However, all these works focus on single elements of plasmonic nanocircuit. For these reasons, an Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tool integrating circuit representations of different components and being capable of modeling comprehensive plasmonic nanocircuits and systems, would be highly desirable. The purpose of this work is therefore two-fold. Firstly, a software tool designed for the system level simulation of plasmonic nanocircuits is developed within the general framework of a photonic nanocircuit design environment. A component library containing equivalent circuit-level models of various plasmonic nanostructures, such as waveguides and splitters, is built up. The validity of the circuit models are demonstrated by comparison with full-wave results. Secondly, a Mach-Zehnder plasmonic modulator is designed with the aid of the software. It is shown that a compact design is successfully achieved, with a considerably low driving voltage, which proves the effectiveness of the system level modeling. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. After introducing the framework of an integrated system-level plasmonic nanocircuit design environment in Section II, the equivalent model of MIM-based components is presented in Section III to specify how the simulation methods of a component in the library are defined in that environment. Section IV discusses the Mach-Zehnder modulator design using the component library and the proposed design environment. Finally, Section V concludes the paper with a brief summary. II. SYSTEM -LEVEL NANOPLASMONIC CIRCUIT DESIGN AND SIMULATION Photonic nanocircuits, alternatively plasmonic nanocircuits are routed for on-chip integration [14]-[15]. The design of the circuit starts by identifying electrical net-lists to be routed through the optical interconnects. Fig. 1 shows the architecture

TNANO-00215-2011-R# of the proposed plasmonic nanocircuit design environment. The environment has an optical component library, which is used in route planning and performance simulation. The electrical layer that forms the input describes the electrical netlists and their I/O characteristics. The characteristics are represented by suitable behavioral models. Depending on different design and modeling functions in the design flow, each component in the library will be represented at different levels for the corresponding functions. For example, the geometry configuration and parameters of a waveguide could be used to realize the physical optical link path and also to simulate its property at the device level if necessary. At the system level, the component could be Plasmonic nanoCircuit Design (GUI): Optical Net-list, Components and Routing Plan

2 mechanical responses in a consistent way. In general, each particular behavior of this system, such as its optical property, can be modeled by using full-wave commercial software such as Comsol, Lumerical or Rsoft. However, the compatibility in terms of the complexity and the synchronization timing between different simulation/design environments is a key challenge to achieve an effective nanocircuit design. In this context, it is necessary to create behavioral models for each plasmonic device; for example each device can be represented in the form of S-matrices or distributed elements. In Fig. 2, we assume that each straight/bend waveguide, filter, modulator and photodetector is characterized by an S-matrix. Then the behavior between the input and output of this plasmonic link is characterized in terms of these S-matrices.

Optical Route Planning and Physical Synthesis

Performance Modeling and Simulation

Electrical Layer Representation: Net-list and Floor-plan Behavior Models (I/O)

Plasmonic Component Library: High-level Parameters for Route Planning Parameterized Geometry Configuration and Simulation Models (or Behavior Models)

Fig. 1. Architecture of a system-level plasmonic nanocircuit design environment.

modeled by certain behavioral models, such as S-matrices or transmission-line based circuits. The behavioral model is represented in the library. Let us consider one channel of a typical plasmonic link, as shown in Fig. 2. This link consists of waveguides (WG), power splitters (PS), filters (F), modulators (MOD), multiplexers (MUX) to group different channels, demultiplexers (DEMUX) to divide the signal into single channels, and photodetectors (PD) to convert the optical signal into an electrical signal. The waveguide may have a straight or a bend shape. The modulator is chosen as a plasmonic modulator due to its compactness and low power consumption, while the driver of the modulator should be based on the electro-optical or all-optical control to achieve a high speed device [16]-[17]. The plasmonic photodetector is also desired because it can achieve high intensity and compact size [18]. To realize an integrated system, a multi-physics simulator is needed to model the electrical, optical, thermal or

Fig. 3 shows a typical circuit network that models an optical channel from modulator (MOD) to photodetector (PD) shown in Fig. 2. Each element in the network is represented by its Smatrix. The electrical signals are loaded into the carrier signal through channels of a nanophotonic link by drivers of modulators, and extracted from the carrier signal by photodetectors. Along the channel, the light wave (i.e. carrier signal) is guided through waveguides. The multiplexer (MUX) multiplexes a number of carrier signals into a signal optical path. The de-multiplexer (DEMUX) performs the inverse process. The wavelengths and arrows shown between two circuit blocks indicate dominant light waves and their propagation direction. The advantage of using such an equivalent modeling approach is obvious since it enables fast computation that allows engineers to quickly design and optimize their devices. It will be shown throughout this paper that our equivalent model enables us to quickly design a Mach-Zehnder plasmonic modulator with acceptable accuracy. Fig. 4 shows the sub-circuit of a two-channel splitter (a special DEMUX) with MIM components, which are modeled by transmission line based equivalent circuits. The sub-circuit as a whole can replace a DEMUX in Fig. 3. Fig. 5 shows a MIM waveguide and its equivalent circuit model. The system level characterization of these elements, which are essential components of the plasmonic modulator, will be detailed in the next section. The waveguide is parameterized in the library. The parameters include those of its geometry (i.e. cross section and length), bandwidth, and effective refractive index and so on.

TNANO-00215-2011-R# The system level simulator developed in this work uses the Modelica language that allows us to model the MIM structures using transmission line models [16]. This model is fully compatible with SPICE and hence can be run in any SPICE simulator. We have chosen the Modelica language because it allows us to extend our model for multi-physics simulations where optic, electronic, thermal and even mechanical models can be integrated into a single simulation λ1 λ1 λ1 [S]MUX [S]MOD λn [S]WG λn λ1 , …, λn [S]WG [S]WG λ1 λ1 , …, λn [S]DEMUX [S]PD λn [S]WG λn

3

Fig. 5. A metal-insulator-metal waveguide can be modeled as a transmission line with characteristic impedance ZMIM and time delay td. The circuit model of the transmission line is also shown.

[S]MOD

[S]WG

III. EQUIVALENT MODELS FOR PLASMONIC METAL-INSULATORMETAL BASED COMPONENTS A. MIM waveguides A simple metal-insulator-metal (MIM) waveguide can be modeled by a transmission line as shown in Fig. 5. In this model it is assumed that the loss due to the metal is negligible. This assumption can be justified if the overall structure size is much smaller than the propagation length of the MIM waveguide. The propagation length of a MIM waveguide made of silver, operated at λ0 = 1.55 µm wavelength and having a slot width w = 50 nm is more than 10λ0 [19], whereas the overall length of our Mach-Zehnder plasmonic modulator is only about 2 µm. Therefore, a lossless model can be used in this case. A quasistatic approximation is also used in this situation. It is valid when the slot width of the MIM waveguide is much smaller than the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave, which is true in our case (where the slot width is approximately 1/30 of the wavelength). The quasistatic approximation allows us to assume that there is no bending loss in the structures. The characteristic impedance of this transmission line can be calculated from [5] β ( w) (1) Z MIM = MIM w

λn

[S]PD

λ1

Fig. 3. A typical nano-photonic circuit network from modulator (MOD) to photodetector (PD).

Out1(λ1 ,…, λn)

In(λ1 ,…, λn)

ω0 ε 0

Out2(λ1 ,…, λn)

Fig. 4. MIM component sub-circuit modeled with a transmission line equivalent circuit

platform.

where βMIM(w) is the propagation constant and is a function of the slot width of the MIM waveguide. The terms ω0 and ε0 are the free space angular frequency and permittivity, respectively. In this model, the propagation constant is calculated from 2π (2) β MIM ( w) = n eff

λ0

where neff is the effective refractive index of the MIM waveguide, and λ0 is the free space wavelength. The question now is how we can get the effective refractive index of the plasmonic waveguide. The effective refractive index can be obtained from full-wave simulations or with the effective index method [20]. In this case, we have used the full

TNANO-00215-2011-R# vectorial finite-difference method [21] to calculate the effective refractive index of the MIM waveguide. Fig. 6 shows the plot of the effective refractive index of different metals. Note that the refractive index values for different metals are taken from the reference [22]. The following equation has been used to fit the curves. N eff = n( A0 + A exp( −w/ B1) + 1 (3)

4 Another factor that must be considered is the variation of the effective index of the insulator and the cladding materials. The nice feature of the MIM waveguide effective refractive index curve is that it can be normalized for different cladding medium. The effect of the cladding medium is taken into account in the fitting equation in Fig. 6 by multiplication with

TABLE I FITTING COEFFICIENTS Coefficients A3 B1 2.047 2.146 0.123 0.233 0.259 0.04 0.041 0.042

A2 exp(− w / B2 ) + A3 exp( −w / B3 ))

In the fitting equation, w is the slot width in micrometer and n is the refractive index of the bulk medium, while the rest of the coefficients are the fitting coefficients. The values for these fitting equations are given in Table 1. Note that these curves are obtained from a two-dimensional MIM structure. The effect of the metal thickness in a three dimensional structure is shown in Fig. 7. Fig. 7 indicates that the maximum difference between the three-dimensional effective refractive index values is about 11% for a 50 nm metal thickness. As the metal thickness increases, the effective refractive index value approaches the effective refractive index of the two-dimensional structure. In fact, for 400 nm thickness, the maximum difference is less than 2%. This result suggests that we can confidently use the fitting equation (3) with the coefficients in Table 1 to calculate the effective refractive index of a three-dimensional MIM waveguide when the metal thickness is large enough.

Metals Ag Au Al Cu

A0 1.013 1.018 1.01 1.022

A1 0.193 0.76 0.479 0.867

A2

B2 0.037 0.26 0.008 0.008

B3 0.007 0.01 0.264 0.27

0.774 0.205 1.536 2.43

the bulk refractive index of cladding medium n. Fig. 8 shows that the percentage difference of different cladding media is negligible when it is normalized to its bulk value n. This indicates that we can use the fitting equation (3) to calculate the effective refractive index for different cladding media. Once the effective refractive index is calculated, we can

Fig. 6. Effective refractive index curves for different metals. The fitting equation for the curves is also shown. The curve is calculated at the wavelength of 1.55 µm.

Fig. 8. Percentage difference of the normalized effective refractive index of different cladding media from a three-dimensional structure with 400nm thickness with respect to the fitting equation (3). The metal is silver at 1.55µm wavelength.

obtain the characteristic impedance of the transmission line from (1) and (2). Besides characteristic impedance, however, a Spice lossless transmission line model requires another parameter which is the time delay of the transmission line. This time delay can be calculated from l l (4) td = = neff vp c where l is the length of the waveguide, vp is the phase velocity which can be calculated from the speed of light c divided by the refractive index of the medium, which in this case is neff. The phase shift corresponding to a time delay can be calculated from (5) ϕ = ωtd . With both characteristic impedance and time delay in hand, one can simulate an MIM waveguide using any Spice

Fig. 7. Percentage difference of the effective refractive index of a threedimensional structure with different thicknesses with respect to the twodimensional fitting equation (3). Larger thickness values are associated with smaller differences. The metal used in this calculation is silver, the wavelength is 1.55µm, and the cladding medium is air.

TNANO-00215-2011-R# simulator. B. MIM splitter The next component needed to design the Mach-Zehnder modulator is an MIM splitter. It was shown in [5] that a 90 obend splitter behaves similar to two impedances connected to the input in series. Hence, the MIM splitter can be modeled as a set of transmission lines connected in series (Fig. 9).

5 a full-wave simulation shows that our equivalent model for MIM splitters predicts this matching condition quite well. IV. MACH-ZEHNDER MODULATOR DESIGN The components mentioned in the last section are synthesized to construct the Mach-Zehnder plasmonic modulator. A 2D schematic of the investigated modulator is shown in Fig. 11. The modulator consists of a straight plasmonic waveguide that is connected to a 90 degree bend splitter which is then combined again to form the output waveguide. One of the waveguide arms consists of an electro-optic (EO) material whose refractive index is actively controlled by a driving voltage, which effectively changes the phase velocity of the wave. Therefore, the waves from the two arms will interfere either constructively or destructively at the output waveguide depending on their phase difference. Consequently, the magnitude of the output wave is modulated by the driving voltage in one of the arms.

Fig. 9. A 90o-bend MIM waveguide which can be modeled as two transmission lines connected in series to the input transmission line.

Fig. 10. Reflection coefficient curve calculated using the circuit equivalent (EDA’s tool). dout is set to 50 nm. The impedance of the input waveguide matches the output waveguides when the slot width is about 2.5 times the output slot widths. The comparison with full-wave FDTD simulations is also given. The metal is silver and the wavelength is equal to 1.55 µm.

Fig. 11. Schematic of Mach-Zehnder plasmonic modulator based on metalinsulator-metal (MIM) structure. The electrode is used to change the refractive index of the electro-optic (EO) material.

The model of the splitter is still based on the transmissionline model. In this case, a splitter is built by connecting another two transmission lines in series with the input transmission line. The obtained model is verified by using the full-wave finite-different time-domain (FDTD) simulation. Fig. 10 shows the reflection coefficient curves obtained when varying the slot width of the input waveguide with respect to the slot width of the output waveguides. The output slot width is fixed to 50 nm while the input slot width is varied from 50 nm to 150 nm. The cladding medium is air whose refractive index equals to 1.0. The lengths of both the input waveguide and the two output waveguides are set to 200 nm following [5]. It appears that the reflection is minimum value at din/dout ≈ 2.5. Under this condition, the characteristic impedance of the input waveguide matches the two impedances of the output waveguides connected in series. The comparison with

The EO material applied in the modulator is 4-dimethulamino-N-methyl-4-stilbazolium tosylate (DAST), an organic material with a refractive index of 2.2 without driving field. It is known that this material exhibits a large EO coefficient, i.e. dn/dE = 3.41 nm/V [23]-[24]. This means that an electric field of 1V/nm will induce a relative large change of refractive index of 3.41. The driving voltage is associated with the change of the electric field by ∆V = ∆E × w, where w is the width of the waveguide slot. Therefore, the change of the refractive index is related to the change in the driving voltage by dn ∆V (6) ∆n = dE w Note that the sensitivity (∆n/∆V) is proportional to dn/dE and is inversely proportional to the slot width. This means, a higher dn/dE or a smaller slot width yields a better sensitivity.

TNANO-00215-2011-R# The schematic of the modulator constructed in the plasmonic system simulation (PSS) is shown in Fig. 12. The two arms of the modulator, which are essentially MIM waveguides with 800 nm length, are represented in the simulator by transmission-line models proposed in Section III.A. The effective refractive index of the upper arm is derived from the driving voltage through (6), which is used to obtain the propagation constant and the characteristic impedance of the transmission line. The two arms are connected by splitter models described in Section III.B, and they are further linked to the input and the output of the modulator via two MIM waveguides of 100 nm. The coupling of the excitation and the matching of the device is beyond the scope of this work. Therefore, the excitation is represented by a sinusoidal source with 1550 nm wavelength and input impedance matched to the intrinsic impedance of the input waveguide. The output of the device is simply terminated in a load which, again, is matched to the impedance of the output waveguide. Fig. 13 (a) shows the output waveform as the refractive index is changed from 1 to 1.98 calculated using the equivalent model, clearly showing the phase shift induced by the change of the index. The phase shift is obtained by measuring the time delay, which is plotted in Fig. 13 (b). The time delay increases almost linearly with the refractive index, which agrees with (5). When the phase shift is π, the waves emerging from the two arms interfere destructively at the output waveguide. The voltage required to induce a π phase shift is commonly denoted as Vπ. To start the design, Vπ is set to 1.5 V. In order to achieve a reasonable change in the refractive index, the slot widths of the EO arms are set to 20 nm. A smaller slot width will result in a higher electric field across the EO material. The corresponding electric field change can be calculated by dividing the voltage by the slot width, which results in 0.075 V/nm. This leads to a change of about 0.26 in the refractive index of the DAST material. This means that the refractive index of the cladding material at the arm with electrodes must change from 2.2 to about 2.46 to induce a π phase shift. Note, however, that the actual change of the refractive index must be calculated from the effective value of the refractive index

6 instead of the bulk value. The length of these arms can be calculated from (5) and (6). For a 20 nm slot width, the required length to have a π phase shift at the output of the waveguide is about 769 nm. For simplicity, the length of the arm waveguides is set to 800 nm in the subsequent calculation. Note that the plasmonic modulator can be achieved with ultracompact size when compared to the photonic modulators because the plasmonic MIM waveguide can confine and guide optical signal in the sub-wavelength range. To improve the performance, the splitter input waveguide should be designed to be matched. Fig. 10 shows that the slot width of this input waveguide must be about 2.5 times the slot width of the two arm waveguides to ensure a good matching. Therefore, the slot width of the input waveguide is set to 50 nm. Fig. 14 presents the normalized output power versus the driving voltage. The results were calculated using the PSS simulator. The variable Vπ can be obtained directly from the plot, which is 1.89 V. In order to emphasis the accuracy of EDA’s toll, the finite-different time-domain method is also used to predict the voltage π phase shift Vπ. The result is

(a)

(b)

Fig. 13. (a) Output voltage waveforms with respect to the refractive index. (b) Time delay of the output voltage with respect to the refractive index.

**shown in Fig. 15. As observed, the EDA’s tool and full wave
**

Fig. 12. Schematic model of Mach-Zehnder modulator in plasmonic system simulation (PSS) tool.

TNANO-00215-2011-R# simulation’s result are good agreement. It is desirable to have a low driving voltage since it consumes less power. To achieve Vπ = 1.5 V, we can modify the modulator arms. From (5) and (6), it can be seen that the arm length is inversely proportional to the change in voltage for a given phase shift. This means that in order to reduce Vπ, the arm length must be increased. Fig. 15 shows this linear relationship between Vπ and the length of the modulator arm. In order to reduce Vπ from 1.89 V to 1.5 V, we need to increase the arm length from 0.8 µm to 0.985 µm. Of course, the accuracy of the arm length will eventually be determined by the fabrication process. Another interesting parameter is the modulation depth which defines the ratio between the maximum output power and the minimum output power. A large modulation depth is desirable since it allows a larger margin for the recoverable range of the signal. The calculations yielded a modulation depth of about 17 dB. Fig. 14 and the inset of Fig. 15 also show the periodic nature of the Mach-Zehnder modulator. This is because as the driving voltage increases further above 1.89 V, the phase shift increases from π to 3π, where the waves from two arms start to interfere

7 output when the two input arms have a refractive index of 2.2. However, with the applied voltage, the characteristic impedance changes according to (1). This impedance mismatch results in a reflection and standing wave inside the waveguide. V. CONCLUSION We have presented the circuit simulation framework for plasmonic devices. Equivalent models for several devices, such as waveguides and splitters, were developed. The equivalent models are based on the characteristic impedance of transmission lines and are compatible with Spice models. A library for metal-insulator-metal (MIM) equivalent models has been built and incorporated into our system-level electronic design automation (EDA) software. This system-level EDA for plasmonic devices delivers a high computational speed for designing and optimizing plasmonic nanocircuits with reasonable accuracy. We used this system level EDA to design a Mach-Zehnder plasmonic modulator. The results show that we can achieve an ultracompact modulator with a low driving voltage and large modulation depth. A copy of the equivalent model library and its simulator can be obtained from the authors upon request. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT "This work was supported by the A*STAR MetamaterialsNanoplasmonics research programme under grant number A*STAR-SERC 0921540098. The authors are grateful to Professor Wolfgang R. J. Hoefer for fruitful discussions and valuable comments." REFERENCES

Fig. 14. The output power of the Mach-Zehnder plasmonic modulator versus the driving voltage. The output magnitude can be modulated to zero by applying a voltage equal to Vπ = 1.89 V.

[1]

Fig. 15. Vπ decreases linearly with the increase in arm length. The required length to obtain Vπ = 1.5 V is L = 0.985 µm. The inset shows the normalized output power versus the driving voltage for 0.8, 0.9, and 1.0 µm.

destructively again. In this periodic output power plot, the second peak of the output power is less then unity due to the impedance mismatch. The output waveguide impedance is designed for a maximum

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Zhang Wenzu received the B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in 1985 from the Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electrical Engineering, the M.Sc. degree in 1989 and the Ph. D. in 1993 both from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), China. He is currently a Research Scientist in the Electronics and Photonics department, Institute of High Performance Computing, Singapore. His research interests are numerical algorithms, signal integrity, behavioral models, and system-level nano-photonic circuit modeling and simulation. Dongying Li (M’11-S'06) received a Ph. D degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Toronto, ON, Canada and an M. A. Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from McMaster University, ON, Canada, in 2011 and 2006 respectively. He also received a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2004 from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. He worked as a research assistant with the Electromagnetic Group in University of Toronto during 2006-2011, and with the Computational Electromagnetics Laboratory, McMaster University during 2004-2006. His research covered sensitivity analysis and engineering optimization in microwave frequency, as well as computational modeling of periodic structures. He joined the Institute of High Performance Computing, Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, in 2011, where he is currently working as a Scientist, with emphasis in metamaterial applications and plasmonic circuit modeling. He received an Honorable Mention Paper Award in the student competition of the 2008 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation.

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Abstract—This work proposes a system-level circuit simulation framework for nanoplasmonic devices, and presents as an example of the simulation of a plasmonic nanocircuit. The electronic design aut...

Abstract—This work proposes a system-level circuit simulation framework for nanoplasmonic devices, and presents as an example of the simulation of a plasmonic nanocircuit. The electronic design automation (EDA) environment provides an equivalent circuit model library for several plasmonic Metal-Insulator-Metal (MIM) based devices. The accuracy of the equivalent models for the plasmonic nanocircuit library is verified by using full-wave simulations and analytical equations. These models are then used to design an ultra-compact Mach-Zehnder (MZ) plasmonic modulator. It is shown that the voltage required to achieve a π phase shift (Vπ) in the modulator can be predicted by the simulator with reasonable accuracy. The optimized design of the modulator is also presented that reduces the value of Vπ according to the required specification.

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