Multi-scale (correlated quantum and statistical mechanics) modeling methods have been advanced and employed to guide the improvement of organic electro-optic (OEO) materials, including by analyzing electric field poling induced electro-optic activity in nanoscopic plasmonic-organic hybrid (POH) waveguide devices. The analysis of in-device electro-optic activity emphasizes the importance of considering both the details of intermolecular interactions within organic electro-optic materials and interactions at interfaces between OEO materials and device architectures. Dramatic improvement in electro-optic device performance--including voltage-length performance, bandwidth, energy efficiency, and lower optical losses have been realized. These improvements are critical to applications in telecommunications, computing, sensor technology, and metrology. Multi-scale modeling methods illustrate the complexity of improving the electro-optic activity of organic materials, including the necessity of considering the trade-off between improving poling-induced acentric order through chromophore modification and the reduction of chromophore number density associated with such modification. Computational simulations also emphasize the importance of developing chromophore modifications that serve multiple purposes including matrix hardening for enhanced thermal and photochemical stability, control of matrix dimensionality, influence on material viscoelasticity, improvement of chromophore molecular hyperpolarizability, control of material dielectric permittivity and index of refraction properties, and control of material conductance. Consideration of new device architectures is critical to the implementation of chipscale integration of electronics and photonics and achieving the high bandwidths for applications such as next generation (e.g., 5G) telecommunications.
A rich variety of plasmonic modulators and switches is emerging. They offer ultra-compact size in the order of a few micrometers, bandwidths from the MHz to the THz, low power consumption and they operate across a large spectral range. Some plasmonic devices are latching and others offer linear performance. Plasmonic devices not only come in a variety of shapes but also rely on various physical phenomena such as the thermal effect, the free carrier dispersion effect, the Pockels effect, the material phase change effect or they may rely on electrochemical metallization effects. After a discussion on the physics of plasmonics we will conclude the talk with a discussion of the opportunities and challenges related to plasmonics in optical communications and in particular with respect to applications in optical interconnects.