Size-dependent waveguide dispersion in nanowire optical cavities: slowed light and dispersionless guiding

Nano Lett. 2009 Apr;9(4):1684-8. doi: 10.1021/nl900371r.


Fundamental understanding of the size dependence of nanoscale optical confinement in semiconductor nanowire waveguides, as expressed by changes in the dispersion of light, is crucial for the optimal design of nanophotonic devices. Measurements of the dispersion are particularly challenging for nanoscale cavities due to difficulties associated with the in- and out-coupling of light resulting from diffraction effects. We report the strong size dependence of optical dispersion and associated group velocities in subwavelength width ZnSe nanowire waveguide cavities, using a technique based on Fabry-Perot resonator modes as probes over a wide energy range. Furthermore, we observed subwavelength (lambda/9) dispersionless waveguiding and significant slowing of the propagating light by 90% (c/8). These results, in addition to providing insights into nanoscale optical transport, will facilitate the rational design of nanowire photonic devices with tailored dispersion and group velocities.