FDTD analysis of Aluminum/a-Si: H surface plasmon waveguides

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The large majority of surface plasmon resonance based devices use noble metals, namely gold or silver, in their manufacturing process. These metals present low resistivity, which leads to low optical losses in the visible and near infrared spectrum ranges. Gold shows high environmental stability, which is essential for long-term operation, and silver's lower stability can be overcome through the deposition of an alumina layer, for instance. However, their high cost is a limiting factor if the intended target is large scale manufacturing. In this work, it is considered a cost-effective approach through the selection of aluminum as the plasmonic material and hydrogenated amorphous silicon instead of its crystalline counterpart. This surface plasmon resonance device relies on Fano resonance to improve its response to refractive index deviations of the surrounding environment. Fano resonance is highly sensitive to slight changes of the medium, hence the reason we incorporated this interference phenomenon in the proposed device. We report the results obtained when conducting Finite-Difference Time Domain algorithm based simulations on this metal-dielectric-metal structure when the active metal is aluminum, gold and silver. Then, we evaluate their sensitivity, detection accuracy and resolution, and the obtained results for our proposed device show good linearity and similar parameter performance as the ones obtained when using gold or silver as plasmonic materials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhysics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XXVI
EditorsB. Witzigmann, M. Osinski, Y. Arakawa
PublisherSPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering
ISBN (Electronic)9781510615373
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
EventPhysics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XXVI 2018 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 29 Jan 20181 Feb 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
PublisherSPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferencePhysics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XXVI 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Fano interference
  • FDTD simulations
  • photonics
  • surface plasmon resonance


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