The Berini Group



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Research: Active devices based on surface plasmons (NSERC)

This research program is devoted to the study of active optical devices based on metal stripe waveguides. Such waveguides support a low-loss optical wave, termed a long-range surface plasmon-polariton (LRSPP) wave. The main objective of this proposal is to research amplifiers, lasers and photodetectors, operating in this wave and implemented in metal stripe waveguides. Specific objectives are to: (a) demonstrate net amplification and lasing; (b) design, fabricate and demonstrate tunable 1st order Bragg gratings; (c) design, fabricate and demonstrate a tunable surface plasmon laser; and (d) design, fabricate and demonstrate Schottky contact detectors on silicon. Theoretical models will be developed for all of the devices, based on first principles, resting on electromagnetics and quantum optics. Experiments will be defined and conducted to verify and validate all models. Custom devices will be fabricated for this purpose, and to demonstrate the proposed structures and underlying phenomena. The scientific approach thus comprises a mix of theory and experiment appropriate to meeting the objectives.


(a) Sketch in top view of an ECL which includes a gain element coupled through a polarisation maintaining optical fibre to a LRSPP Bragg grating chip. (b) Sketch in top view of an ECL concept which includes a TM gain element end-fire coupled to a LRSPP chip integrating a mode conversion taper, an electrically contacted phase shifter and an electrically contacted Bragg grating. (c) Sketch of the gain spectrum, cavity modes and Bragg reflection response of the ECL. (Ref. J44 under Publications.)