Nano Research

Article Title

Decoupling co-existing surface plasmon polariton (SPP) modes in a nanowire plasmonic waveguide for quantitative mode analysis


surface plasmon polariton (SPP), silver nanowire, propagation length, effective refractive index, mode weight


ABSTRACT Knowledge of surface plasmon polariton (SPP) modes in one-dimensional (1D) metallic nanostructures is essential for the development of subwavelength optical devices such as photonic circuits, integrated light sources, and photodetectors. Despite many efforts to characterize the propagation parameters of these subwavelength 1D plasmonic waveguides, such as Ag nanowires, large discrepancies exist among available reports owing to their sensitivity to the relative weights of co-existing SPP modes and the lack of a method of decoupling these modes and analyzing them separately. In this work, we develop an interference method to distinguish different SPP modes that are simultaneously excited in a Ag nanowire waveguide and measure their propagation parameters separately. By extracting information from the propagation-distancedependent intensity oscillations of the scattered light from the nanowire tip, the effective refractive indices, propagation lengths, and relative mode weights of co-existing SPP modes supported by the nanowire are derived from a mode interference model. These parameters depend strongly on the nanowire diameter and excitation wavelength. In particular, we demonstrate the possibility of selective excitation of different SPP modes by varying the nanowire diameter. This new mode analysis technique provides unique insights into the development and optimization of SPP-based applications.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press