Applications of Surface Plasmons Polaritons
in Opto-electronics & in Early Health Diagnosis
Alain Dereux, Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Carnot de Bourgogne
Surface plasmons photonics offers the potential for developing new photonic devices for applications in fields of research which are at first sight totally disconnected, namely opto-electronics and early health diagnosis.
Surface Plasmons Polaritons (SPP) are electromagnetic waves that propagate along the surface of a conductor. The structure of a metal surface can be controlled by nanofabrication techniques in order to tailor the properties of surface plasmons and more specifically their interaction with visible and infra-red light, thereby satisfying the constraints of miniaturisation and the expected functionalities of optical devices relevant for a variety of applications ranging from "on-board" optical interconnects, routing in telecom metro-ring networks or early detection of cancer.
An appealing feature of plasmonic circuitry is that it enables to carry optical signals and electric currents through the same thin metal circuitry, thereby opening the perspectives of unprecedented technical combinations to insert electrically driven devices on the same circuitry on which light is propagating for switching operations on optical motherboards merging plasmonic and silicon photonics on a single board. The possibility of in-line power monitoring is an interesting example of recycling the intrinsic surface plasmon losses in order to monitor signal flow without destroying the signal itself so as to control routing operations in telecom metro-ring networks. In Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) spectroscopy of Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS), the high sensitivity of surface plasmon to modifications of substances attached to metal nanoparticles is underlying the effort towards surface plasmon early detection of cancer.
Most of the material to be presented in this lecture will be based on results of European projects devoted to surface plasmon photonics, namely FP7 STREP Platon (Merging Plasmonic and Silicon Photonics Technology towards Tb/s routing in optical interconnects) and FP7 STREP SPEDOC (Surface Plasmon early Detection of Cancer) .
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