Adiabatic mode coupler on ion-exchanged waveguides for the efficient excitation of surface plasmon modes
Proc. SPIE, Nanophotonic Materials XII
Several works have already shown that the excitation of plasmonic structures through waveguides enables a strong light confinement and low propagation losses . This kind of excitation is currently exploited in areas such as biosensing , nanocircuits and spectroscopy. The efficient excitation of surface plasmon modes (SPP) with guided modes supported by high-index-contrast waveguides, such as silicon-on-insulator waveguides, had already been shown [1,5]. However, the use of weakconfined guided modes of a glass ion exchanged waveguide as a SPP excitation source represents a technological challenge, because the mismatch between the size of their respective electromagnetic modes is so high that the resultant coupling loss is unacceptable for practical applications. In this work, we describe how an adiabatic taper structure formed by an intermediate high-index-contrast layer placed between a plasmonic structure and an ion-exchanged waveguide decreases the mismatch between effective indices, size, and shape of the guided modes. This hybrid structure concentrates the electromagnetic energy from the micrometer to the nanometer scale with low coupling losses to radiative modes. The electromagnetic mode confined to the high-index-contrast waveguide then works as an efficient source of SPP supported by metallic nanostructures placed on its surface. We theoretically studied the modal properties and field distribution along the adiabatic coupler structure. In addition, we fabricated a high-index-contrast waveguide by electron beam lithography and thermal evaporation on top of an ion-exchanged waveguide on glass. This structure was characterized with the use of near field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM). Numerical simulations were compared with the experimental results.  N. Djaker, R. Hostein, E. Devaux, T. W. Ebbesen, and H. Rigneault, and J. Wenger, J. Phys. Chem. C 114, 16250 (2010).  P. Debackere, S. Scheerlinck, P. Bienstman, R. Baets, Opt. Express 14, 7063 (2006).]  A. A. Reiserer, J.-S. Huang, B. Hecht, and T. Brixner. Opt. Express 18(11), 11810–11820 (2010).  R. Salas-Montiel, A. Apuzzo, C. Delacour, Z. Sedaghat, A. Bruyant et al. Appl. Phys Lett 100, 231109 (2012)  A. Apuzzo M. Fevier, M. Salas-Montiel et al. Nano letters, 13, 1000-1006 © (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.