A submicron plasmonic dichroic splitter

Nat Commun. 2011 Nov 8;2:525. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1537.


Spectral imaging and sensing techniques, new solar cell designs and wavelength-division multiplexing in optical communication rely on structures that collect and sort photons by wavelength. The strong push for chip-scale integration of such optical components has necessitated ultracompact, planar structures, and fomented great interest in identifying the smallest possible devices. Consequently, novel micro-ring, photonic crystal and plasmonic solutions have emerged. Meanwhile, the optical coupling of subwavelength plasmonic structures supporting a very limited number of modes has also enabled new functionalities, including Fano resonances and structural electromagnetically-induced transparency. Here we show how two similarly sized subwavelength metal grooves can form an ultracompact submicron plasmonic dichroic splitter. Each groove supports just two electromagnetic modes of opposite symmetry that allows independent control of how a groove collects free-space photons and directs surface plasmon polaritons. These results show how the symmetry of electromagnetic modes can be exploited to build compact optical components.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.