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Surface plasmons for integrated optic applications

Dr. Aloyse Degiron, Postdoc, Duke University

Thursday, October 9, 2008
11:00 a.m.
CSB 209


Metals are not considered as very attractive materials in integrated photonics because of their large absorption coefficients. Yet, this vision has evolved over the last decade as researchers demonstrated that miniaturized photonic components and innovative artificial media can be synthesized with metals structured at a scale comparable or smaller than the wavelength of light. These advances rely on the controlled excitation of surface plasmons, which are versatile electromagnetic waves coupled to a longitudinal oscillation of free electrons at the metal surface.

In this talk, the unique properties of surface plasmons will be highlighted with experiments demonstrating that even a simple hole in a conducting screen has a much richer behavior than what is commonly thought. The potential and limitations of metallic structures for photonic applications will be subsequently examined, with a special emphasis on the use of thin metal stripes as integrated plasmonic waveguides. These structures are excellent model systems because their properties can be accurately designed and leveraged by adapting numerical methods and experimental protocols used in dielectric waveguide engineering.

Speaker Biography

Aloyse Degiron received his PhD in physics from Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France. He worked in the group of Thomas W. Ebbesen on a variety of phenomena associated with plasmon-assisted transmission through metallic films, including extraordinary transmission and the generation of narrow beams. In February 2005 he joined the research group of David R. Smith at Duke University as a postdoctoral researcher and in October 2008 he has been appointed as an assistant research faculty in the same group. His current research primarily focuses on surface plasmons and metamaterials for integrated photonic applications. Aloyse Degiron also serves as a technical coordinator of the new Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics (CMIP) directed by David R. Smith.