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Utilization of Field Enhancement in Plasmonic Waveguides for Subwavelength Light-Guiding, Polarization Handling, Heating, and Optical Sensing

by Daoxin Dai 1,*, Hao Wu 1 and Wei Zhang 2,*
1
Centre for Optical and Electromagnetic Research, State Key Laboratory for Modern Optical Instrumentation, East Building No. 5, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2
Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing 400714, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gururaj V. Naik
Materials 2015, 8(10), 6772-6791; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma8105341
Received: 28 July 2015 / Revised: 6 September 2015 / Accepted: 17 September 2015 / Published: 9 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Materials)
Plasmonic nanostructures have attracted intensive attention for many applications in recent years because of the field enhancement at the metal/dielectric interface. First, this strong field enhancement makes it possible to break the diffraction limit and enable subwavelength optical waveguiding, which is desired for nanophotonic integrated circuits with ultra-high integration density. Second, the field enhancement in plasmonic nanostructures occurs only for the polarization mode whose electric field is perpendicular to the metal/dielectric interface, and thus the strong birefringence is beneficial for realizing ultra-small polarization-sensitive/selective devices, including polarization beam splitters, and polarizers. Third, plasmonic nanostructures provide an excellent platform of merging electronics and photonics for some applications, e.g., thermal tuning, photo-thermal detection, etc. Finally, the field enhancement at the metal/dielectric interface helps a lot to realize optical sensors with high sensitivity when introducing plasmonic nanostrutures. In this paper, we give a review for recent progresses on the utilization of field enhancement in plasmonic nanostructures for these applications, e.g., waveguiding, polarization handling, heating, as well as optical sensing. View Full-Text
Keywords: plasmonic nanostructures; waveguide; polarization-handling; heating; sensing; silicon hybrid plasmonics plasmonic nanostructures; waveguide; polarization-handling; heating; sensing; silicon hybrid plasmonics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dai, D.; Wu, H.; Zhang, W. Utilization of Field Enhancement in Plasmonic Waveguides for Subwavelength Light-Guiding, Polarization Handling, Heating, and Optical Sensing. Materials 2015, 8, 6772-6791.

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