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29 October 2001 Attenuated total reflection modulator based on surface plasmon excitation
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Proceedings Volume 4595, Photonic Systems and Applications; (2001)
Event: International Symposium on Photonics and Applications, 2001, Singapore, Singapore
We investigate an attenuated total internal reflection (ATR) modulator, which can be fabricated by depositing an ultra-thin Au film, an electro-optic (EO) polymer film and an Au electrode on a prism. At a certain incidence angle, the incoming TM-polarized beam can excite a surface-plasmon wave (SPW) propagating at the metal-polymer interface. The intensity modulation of the reflected beam is possible because of the sensitivity of the coupling efficiency to the refractive index of the polymer. An alternative design uses a thin dielectric film between the prism and the Au film but gave no better results. The device potentially provides low fabrication cost and very high frequency operation, and the polymer losses are not a significant issue. A modulator structure was optimized with simulations to achieve maximum modulation depth. The optimal thicknesses were in the range of 30 to 35 nm and 1 micrometers for the Au and polymer films, respectively. Nevertheless, the achievable modulation depth is rather small even with polymers of high EO coefficient and the operation of the device is sensitive, especially, to the incidence angle as well as to the polymer thickness due to the coupling of two SPW modes.
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Mikko Karppinen, Robert Charbonneau, and Pierre Berini "Attenuated total reflection modulator based on surface plasmon excitation", Proc. SPIE 4595, Photonic Systems and Applications, (29 October 2001);

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