1 1 TM Grating Coupler on Low - Loss 2 LPCVD based Si 3 N 4 Waveguide Platform 3
With metal stripes being intrinsic components of plasmonic waveguides, plasmonics provides a "naturally" energy-efficient platform for merging broadband optical links with intelligent electronic processing, instigating a great promise for low-power and small-footprint active functional circuitry. The first active Dielectric-Loaded Surface Plasmon Polariton (DLSPP) thermo-optic (TO) switches with successful performance in single-channel 10 Gb/s data traffic environments have led the inroad towards bringing low-power active plasmonics in practical traffic applications. In this article, we introduce active plasmonics into Wavelength Division Multiplexed (WDM) switching applications, using the smallest TO DLSPP-based Mach-Zehnder interferometric switch reported so far and showing its successful performance in 4×10 Gb/s low-power and fast switching operation. The demonstration of the WDM-enabling characteristics of active plasmonic circuits with an ultra-low power × response time product represents a crucial milestone in the development of active plasmonics towards real telecom and datacom applications, where low-energy and fast TO operation with small-size circuitry is targeted.