Hybrid Polymer Plasmonic Devices for Enhanced All-Plasmonic Switching Based on Photothermal Nonlinearity

  • Author / Creator
    Perron, David H.
  • Nanoplasmonic devices have received much attention in recent years due to their ability to confine light below the diffraction limit, thereby providing a potential route to the creation of nanometer-scale integrated photonic devices. However, with the strong confinement of light come large absorption losses and the resulting joule heating in the metal layers. This conversion of light into heat can have significant impact on the device performance as material properties change. On the other hand, it can also give rise to large photothermal effects which can be exploited for nonlinear device applications. This thesis explores the possibilities of exploiting the strong photothermal nonlinearity associated with the absorption of light in plasmonic devices for all-plasmonic switching applications. A hybrid plasmonic waveguide based on a polymer material is proposed and designed to achieve strong photothermal nonlinear effects. It is found that the large absorption in the plasmonic waveguide leads to a thermo-optic change in the material's refractive index that is two orders of magnitude greater than in a similar photonic waveguide structure. The strong photothermal nonlinearity is exploited in the creation and experimental demonstration of an all-plasmonic switching device based on an all-pass microring resonator.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.