Active plasmonics in WDM traffic switching applications

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


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Fiber Optic Technology / instrumentation*
  • Fiber Optic Technology / methods
  • Interferometry / instrumentation*
  • Interferometry / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance / instrumentation*
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance / methods
  • Telecommunications / instrumentation
  • Transducers