Plasmonics and metamaterials

Our aim is to develop new effective optical materials by nanostructuring and to realize optical components for nanophotonics. Basic elements are metallic structures, which allow confining and manipulating light on dimensions much smaller than the wavelength. Our work combines modeling, fabrication as well as experimental evaluation of respective structures. Main emphasis is paid to the excitation of nanocircuitries via optical antennas, to the distribution of light inside the circuit via splitters and directional couplers and to the exploitation of nonlinear effects for power induced all-optical switching. A typical structure under investigation (a: SEM picture, b: light emitted by the structure) consists of an optical antenna for excitation (wavelength 1500nm), a plasmonic waveguide (width 80nm), a directional coupler for power transfer between two guides (coupling length 1500nm), waveguide bends and open ends to allow for the emission of light.