Abstract

We researched an elliptic cylindrical silicon nanowire hybrid surface plasmon polariton waveguide and evaluated its mode characteristics using the finite element method software COMSOL. The waveguide consists of three parts: an elliptic cylindrical silicon nanowire, a silver film layer, and a silica covering layer between them. All of the components are surrounded by air. After optimizing the geometrical parameters of the waveguide, we can achieve the waveguide’s strong field confinement (ranging from λ2/270 to λ2/27) and long propagation distances (119–485 μm). In order to further understand the impact of the waveguide’s architecture on its performance, we also studied the ridge hybrid waveguide. The results show that the ridge waveguide has moderate local field confinement ranging from λ2/190 to λ2/20 and its maximum propagation distance is about 340 μm. We compared the elliptic cylindrical and ridge nanowire hybrid waveguides with the cylindrical hybrid waveguide that we studied before. The elliptic cylindrical waveguide achieves a better trade-off between reasonable mode confinement and maximum propagation length in the three waveguides. The researched hybrid surface plasmon polaritons waveguides are useful to construct devices such as a directional coupler and may find potential applications in photonic integrated circuits or other novel SPP devices.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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