Universal Switching of Plasmonic Signals using Optical Resonator Modes

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We propose and investigate, both experimentally and theoretically, a novel mechanism for switching and modulating plasmonic signals based on a Fano interference process, which arises from the coupling betw een a narrow-band optical Fabr y-Pérot cavity and a surface plasmon polariton (SPP) source. The SPP wave emitte d from the cavity is actively modulated in the vicinity of the cavity resonances by altering the cavity Q factor and/or resonant frequencies. We experimentally demonstrate dynamic SPP m odulation both by mechanical control of the cavity length and all-optically by ha rnessing the ultrafast nonlinearity of the Au mirrors that form the cavity. An electro-optical mo dulation scheme is also proposed and numerically illustrated. Dynamic operation of the switch via mechanical means yields a modulation in the SPP coupling efficiency of approximately 80%, while the all- optical control provides an ultrafast modulation with an efficiency of 30% at a rate of approximately 0.6 THz. The experimental observations are supported by both analytical and numerical calc ulations of the mechanical, all-optical, and electro-optical m odulation methods
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16237
JournalLight: Science & Applications
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2017


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