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. 2012;2:652.
doi: 10.1038/srep00652. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Active Plasmonics in WDM Traffic Switching Applications

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Free PMC article

Active Plasmonics in WDM Traffic Switching Applications

Sotirios Papaioannou et al. Sci Rep. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

With metal stripes being intrinsic components of plasmonic waveguides, plasmonics provides a "naturally" energy-efficient platform for merging broadband optical links with intelligent electronic processing, instigating a great promise for low-power and small-footprint active functional circuitry. The first active Dielectric-Loaded Surface Plasmon Polariton (DLSPP) thermo-optic (TO) switches with successful performance in single-channel 10 Gb/s data traffic environments have led the inroad towards bringing low-power active plasmonics in practical traffic applications. In this article, we introduce active plasmonics into Wavelength Division Multiplexed (WDM) switching applications, using the smallest TO DLSPP-based Mach-Zehnder interferometric switch reported so far and showing its successful performance in 4×10 Gb/s low-power and fast switching operation. The demonstration of the WDM-enabling characteristics of active plasmonic circuits with an ultra-low power × response time product represents a crucial milestone in the development of active plasmonics towards real telecom and datacom applications, where low-energy and fast TO operation with small-size circuitry is targeted.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Asymmetric Mach-Zehnder interferometer.
(a) Schematic layout. The lower plasmonic branch is widened in order to introduce a default asymmetry, (b) fundamental quasi-TM mode of the 500×600 nm2 PMMA-loaded SPP waveguide, (c) fundamental quasi-TM mode of the 700×600 nm2 PMMA-loaded SPP waveguide.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Single-channel experimental setup.
The experimental setup comprises a 10 Gb/s single-channel transmitter, a hybrid Si-DLSPP A-MZI and a receiver. Amplifiers are employed in both transmitting and receiving stages. The A-MZI is electrically controlled by a 20 KHz electrical clock pulse train that is injected into its upper branch.
Figure 3
Figure 3. CW injection.
(a) Static TO transfer functions for the CROSS and BAR output ports of the A-MZI, (b) theoretically calculated transfer function for the CROSS and BAR output ports of a symmetric MZI showing the region confirmed by the experimentally obtained transfer function of the A-MZI, (c) BAR output TO modulation, (d) CROSS output TO modulation and rise/fall times (insets). Dashed red lines in (c) and (d) show the corresponding electrical control signal.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Data injection.
Modulation with 35 μs electrical rectangular pulses at 20 KHz repetition rate for 10 Gb/s (a) data trace at the CROSS port, (b) data trace at the BAR port, (c) eye diagram at the CROSS port, (d) eye diagram at the BAR port. (e) (231-1) BER curves for a single channel at B2B, ON and OFF states.
Figure 5
Figure 5. WDM switching experiment.
(a) Experimental setup and the 4-channel spectrum at (b) MZI input, (c) directly at the MZI output before entering EDFA2, (d) after the receiver's pre-amplification stage. The spectral response of the chip including the A-MZI and the TM grating couplers is shown with the red dashed line in (c).
Figure 6
Figure 6. Data injection.
Modulation with 15μs electrical rectangular pulses at 20 KHz repetition rate for 10 Gb/s (a) data trace at the CROSS port (channel 1), (b) data trace at the BAR port (channel 1), (c) eye diagram at the CROSS port (channel 1), (d) eye diagram at the BAR port (channel 1), (e) data trace at the CROSS port (channel 2), (f) data trace at the BAR port (channel 2), (g) eye diagram at the CROSS port (channel 2), (h) eye diagram at the BAR port (channel 2).
Figure 7
Figure 7. WDM switching BER measurements.
BER curves for all channels for B2B and during ON and OFF operational states.

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