There has been recent interest in the development of optical analogues of lumped element circuitry, where optical elements act as effective optical inductors, capacitors, and resistors. Such optical circuitry requires the photonic equivalent of electrical wires, structures able to carry optical frequency signals to and from the lumped circuit elements while simultaneously maintaining signal carrier wavelengths much larger than the size of the lumped elements. Here we demonstrate the design, fabrication, and characterization of hybrid metal/doped-semiconductor "photonic wires" operating at optical frequencies with effective indices of propagation near zero. Our samples are characterized by polarization and angle-dependent FTIR spectroscopy and modeled by finite-element methods and rigorous coupled wave analysis. We demonstrate coupling to such photonic wires from free space and show the effective wavelength of the excited mode to be approximately an order of magnitude larger than the free-space wavelength of our light. The novel architecture utilized in our hybrid waveguides allows for significant design flexibility as well as the potential for monolithic integration of optical lumped circuit elements and optoelectronic sources and detectors. As such, the demonstrated photonic wires have the potential to provide a key component and a realistic framework for the development of optical circuitry.
- surface plasmon polaritons
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering