Waveguide-Integrated Light-Emitting Metal–Insulator–Graphene Tunnel Junctions

Lufang Liu, Alexey Krasavin, Jialin Li, Linjun Li, Liu Yang, Xin Guo, Daoxin Dai, Anatoly Zayats*, Limin Tong, Pan Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Ultrafast interfacing of electrical and optical signals at the nanoscale is highly desired for on-chip applications including optical interconnects and data processing devices. Here, we report electrically driven nanoscale optical sources based on metal–insulator–graphene tunnel junctions (MIG-TJs), featuring waveguided output with broadband spectral characteristics. Electrically driven inelastic tunneling in a MIG-TJ, realized by integrating a silver nanowire with graphene, provides broadband excitation of plasmonic modes in the junction with propagation lengths of several micrometers (∼10 times larger than that for metal–insulator–metal junctions), which therefore propagate toward the junction edge with low loss and couple to the nanowire waveguide with an efficiency of ∼70% (∼1000 times higher than that for metal–insulator–metal junctions). Alternatively, lateral coupling of the MIG-TJ to a semiconductor nanowire provides a platform for efficient outcoupling of electrically driven plasmonic signals to low-loss photonic waveguides, showing potential for applications at various integration levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3731-3738
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
Early online date25 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2023


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