PLASMOfab will follow a systematic approach to naturally integrate low-loss plasmonic structures with the fast growing technologies of CMOS-compatible photonics and the well-established integration processes of electronics. As a result, the best features of plasmonics will be advanced and seamlessly combined with photonics and electronics onto a common integration platform unleashing unprecedented capabilities and functionalities on a large scale and at a low cost. In most common Si-based photonic integrated circuits, the waveguide cross-sectional dimensions are below or comparable to the transmitted light wavelength ensuring single mode guiding and a reasonably small mode size. In order to further reduce the photonic mode and stretch PIC functional density, Surface Plasmon Polariton (SPP) based waveguides have to be deployed. SPP waveguides have attracted intense research efforts in the last decade owing to their unique ability to guide light at sub-wavelength scales, as they make it possible to overcome the diffraction limit of light and confine light into a width of few nanometers due to coupling to electron plasma oscillations near the metal interface. The ability to guide the optical field on the metal surface or between two metal and or dielectric surfaces provides prominent and unique sensing capabilities for these waveguidesin one hand while it enhances non-linearities such as Pockel's effectfor data communication applications on the other hand. Moreover, SPP waveguides provide the advantage of sending both electric and photonic signals along the same circuitry, thus naturally incorporating electronically controlled nodes in the plasmonic interconnect circuits.

 

Mission Statement: The immense potential of plasmonics has already been recognized for many application areas including optical interconnects, sensing, photovoltaics and data storage systems while in some cases plasmonic technology was leveraged from research to product. However the inclusion of plasmonics in photonic integrated circuits has not been yet addressed retaining high cost and low functionality. PLASMOfab will pave a new path for PIC technology where plasmonics will be harmonically integrated alongside photonics and electronics to benefit from the best of all three worlds, maximizing functionality and retaining the integration cost low by complying to CMOS process lines. In this context, PLASMOfab aims to lower the access barriers to plasmonic technology and subsequently trigger immeasurable new innovations in all the above applications.