4 September 2008 Miniaturization of photonic waveguides by the use of left-handed materials
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Abstract
Although a lot of progress has been made in the field of integrated photonics, the integration density of photonic integrated circuits remains much lower than their electronic counterparts, mainly limited by an inherent wavelength condition on the size of their constituents. Only recently, researchers have tried to overcome this wavelength condition, e.g., by the use of plasmonics and left-handed materials. In this contribution, we want to present a waveguide - an essential component in photonic circuits - that has the possibility of confining light in a waveguide with sub-wavelength diameter [Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 203111, 2008]. This waveguide uses a left-handed material in order to control the phase evolution of an optical mode during propagation through the waveguide. We calculate the contributions to this phase shift from the optical path length and from the reflections at the cladding interface and we show that the control of this phase shift by a left-handed material allows for tailoring the properties of the optical modes. From the calculated mode profile and dispersion relation, we show that the proposed geometry allows for waveguides with a thickness that is at least one order of magnitude smaller than the optical wavelength. This miniaturization does not inversely affect the confinement properties of the propagating modes, i.e., the optical mode diameter remains comparable to the waveguide thickness and the light does not extend far into the cladding.
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P. Tassin, X. Sahyoun, G. Van der Sande, I. Veretennicoff, "Miniaturization of photonic waveguides by the use of left-handed materials", Proc. SPIE 7029, Metamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications, 70290Z (4 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.795092; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.795092
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