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10 May 2010 Manipulation of surface plasmons on a vertical cavity surface emitting laser platform
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The use of structured metal films where electromagnetic waves are confined and manipulated as surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) has potential use in applications ranging from biosensing, chip-to-chip optical interconnects and in data storage. In general, the SPPs are excited using a separate light source which compromises the compactness of any system. As a solution the SPPs can be directly excited on a layer of gold which is deposited on the top surface of a Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser. Here, we have designed the surface of the VCSEL to include a customised planar gold layer upon which we can excite, propagate and manipulate SPPs over distances of up to 100 microns. We launch the SPPs using a low threshold 850 nm emitting VCSEL under continuous wave operation using a diffraction grating etched through the gold surface. Shallow etched gratings are used to manipulate the SPPs through, for example, a 90° bend using a Bragg mirror and to out-couple the SPPs into air where the polarization dependent relative intensity of the extracted light is measured using a CCD camera. We measure a SPP propagation length of about 50 microns. The result paves the way to compact integrated plasmonic devices.
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B. Corbett, J.-M. Lamy, J. Justice, and G. Lévêque "Manipulation of surface plasmons on a vertical cavity surface emitting laser platform", Proc. SPIE 7712, Nanophotonics III, 771213 (10 May 2010);

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