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Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Editor: Henry van Driel
  • Vol. 28, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 2011
  • pp: 2159–2164

Slow light in insulator–metal–insulator plasmonic waveguides

Emmanouil-Panagiotis Fitrakis, Thomas Kamalakis, and Thomas Sphicopoulos  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 28, Issue 9, pp. 2159-2164 (2011)

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We study numerically the slow-light capability of insulator–metal–insulator (IMI) plasmonic waveguides. Metal-induced losses are included in the calculation of the dispersion relations, and their effect on the slow-light properties of the waveguide is investigated. In addition to reducing the propagation lengths of surface plasmon polaritons, losses are found to limit the achievable slowdown factors and the practical potential of the device. To alleviate the problem, we consider active materials. Using realistic parameters, we find that a spectral region is then formed where a slow-light pulsed signal can achieve infinite propagation lengths or be amplified. The optical buffering capabilities of the IMI waveguide with losses are analyzed, and we conclude that while losses limit the buffering capabilities of the passive device, the use of active materials may combat the problem effectively from an application point of view.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(200.4490) Optics in computing : Optical buffers
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(310.6845) Thin films : Thin film devices and applications

ToC Category:
Optics in Computing

Original Manuscript: April 26, 2011
Revised Manuscript: July 18, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: July 19, 2011
Published: August 15, 2011

Emmanouil-Panagiotis Fitrakis, Thomas Kamalakis, and Thomas Sphicopoulos, "Slow light in insulator–metal–insulator plasmonic waveguides," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 28, 2159-2164 (2011)

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