Metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) photodiodes are commonly used in ultrafast photoelectronic devices. Recently it was shown that localized surface plasmons can sufficiently enhance photodetector capabilities at both infrared and visible wavelengths. Such structures are of great interest since they can be used for fast, broadband detection. By utilizing the properties of plasmonic structures it is possible to design photodetectors that are sensitive to the polarization state of the incident wave. The direct electrical readout of the polarization state of an incident optical beam has many important applications, especially in telecommunications, bio-imaging and photonic computing. Furthermore, the fact that surface plasmon polaritons can circumvent the diffraction limit, opens up significant opportunities to use them to guide signals between logic gates in modern integrated circuits where small dimensions are highly desirable. Here we demonstrate two MSM photodetectors integrated with aluminum nanoantennas capable of distinguishing orthogonal states of either linearly or circularly polarized light with no additional filters. The localized plasmon resonances of the antennas lead to selective screening of the underlying silicon from light with a particular polarization state. The non-null response of the devices to each of the basis states expands the potential utility of the photodetectors while improving precision. We also demonstrate a design of waveguide-coupled MSM photodetector suitable for planar detection of surface plasmons.
Optical nano-antennas have been the focus of intense research recently due to their ability to manipulate electromagnetic radiation on a subwavelength scale, and there is major interest in such devices for a wide variety of applications in photonics, sensing, and imaging. Significant effort has been put into developing highly compact, novel, next-generation light sources, which have great potential in realizing efficient sub-wavelength single photon sources and enhanced biological and chemical sensors. We have developed a number of innovative optical antenna designs including elements of chiral metasurfaces for enabling circularly polarized emission from quantum sources, new designs derived from Radio Frequency (RF) elements for quantum source enhancement and directionality, and nanostructures for investigating plasmonic dark-modes that have the ability to significantly reduce the Q-factor of nano-antennas. A challenge, however, remains the development of a scalable nanofabrication technology. The capacity to mass-produce nano-antennas will have a considerable impact on the commercial viability of these devices, and greatly improve research throughput. Here we present recent progress in the development of scalable fabrication strategies for producing of nano-antennas and antenna arrays, along with slot based plasmonic optical devices.
Manipulation of polarization states is an important feature of many applications including in telecommunication, remote sensing and photonic computing technologies. Here we present two plasmonic nanoaperture based devices for creating and filtering circularly polarized light. One acts as an ultra-compact quarter wave plate, the other, based upon a planar chiral design, leads to asymmetric transmission of left and right circularly polarized light.
We discuss progress in the development of asymmetric cross-shaped plasmonic antennas based on resonant
nanoscale apertures surrounded by surface corrugations. By tailoring the aperture and the surrounding surface,
we show directionality and polarization control of transmitted light.