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Opt Express. 2010 Sep 27;18(20):20939-48. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.020939.

Theoretical investigation of fabrication-related disorders on the properties of subwavelength metal-dielectric-metal plasmonic waveguides.

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Center for Computation and Technology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA.


We theoretically investigate the effect of fabrication-related disorders on subwavelength metal-dielectric-metal plasmonic waveguides. We use a Monte Carlo method to calculate the roughness-induced excess attenuation coefficient with respect to a smooth waveguide. For small roughness height, the excess optical power loss due to disorder is small compared to the material loss in a smooth waveguide. However, for large roughness height, the excess attenuation increases rapidly with height and the propagation length of the optical mode is severely affected. We find that the excess attenuation is mainly due to reflection from the rough surfaces. However, for small roughness correlation lengths, enhanced absorption is the dominant loss mechanism due to disorder. We also find that the disorder attenuation due to reflection is approximately maximized when the power spectral density of the disordered surfaces at the Bragg spatial frequency is maximized. Finally, we show that increasing the modal confinement or decreasing the guide wavelength, increase the attenuation due to disorder.

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