Gain enhancement in a V-shaped plasmonic slot waveguide for efficient loss compensation at the subwavelength scale

Yusheng Bian, Zheng Zheng, Xin Zhao, Pengfei Yang, Lei Liu, Jinsong Zhu, Tao Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


An active plasmonic slot waveguide comprising an inverted triangular metal wedge incorporated inside a V-shaped plasmonic groove with a low-index gain medium embedded between them is presented, and its guiding properties are investigated numerically at the wavelength of 1550 nm. The presented waveguide is shown to be capable of supporting two fundamental plasmonic slot modes with high field localization to the V-shaped low-index slot region. Due to such strong optical confinement and significant field enhancement, the introduced gain in the slot could effectively compensate the propagation loss of the supported plasmonic modes. It is revealed that for the studied channel plasmonic slot and wedge plasmonic slot modes, notable gain enhancements are observable within a wide range of geometric parameters. For the considered structure with a 10-40 nm-wide slot, the enhancements of gain can be as large as 11%-159% for the CPS mode while 43%-174% for the WPS mode. These values could be further improved by adopting even narrower slots. It is shown that, by introducing a gain medium with coefficients around hundreds of cm-1, the modal loss can be largely or even fully compensated, with a subwavelength mode area achievable simultaneously. These unique features of the studied V-shaped plasmonic slot waveguide might be useful for its potential applications in compact, active plasmonic components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-419
Number of pages6
JournalOptics Communications
StatePublished - May 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Integrated photonics
  • Surface plasmon
  • Waveguide


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